Groaning, grunting and tossing around woke Jaci up from her sleep. She pulled out her wand, just in case, and walked into the sitting room of her living quarters. With a wave of her wand, the dark corridors lit up.
Remus was tossing on the transfigured sofa/bed. He grunted, curled into the fetal position, and groaned. Two seconds later, he changed direction. Quite suddenly he thrashed out at invisible foes, trying to get them away from him.
“Get away from her!” he screamed. “Dora!” He growled, tears escaping his eyes. “No, don’t do that! You’re killing her! No!”
Deep down inside, Jaci felt resentment. All those years ago, Jaci would have gladly given Remus her heart. She would have handed it her him on a silver platter. He had made excuses: he was the Gryffindor prefect; she was the Slytherin Quidditch Keeper. He was constantly ill, and she’d have to worry about him. His mother demanded his time, once every month. His life was too complicated at the moment. Once she’d found out what he was, thanks to Severus Snape, he’d said he was much too dangerous. He had managed to, however dangerous he might be, to find someone to care about.
“No, no, Dora,” Remus whispered, turning once more, turning to face her.
Despite all her anger and resentment, Jaci’s heart went out to him. She slowly made her way to him. Not really sure why, Jaci ran her hand down his cheek. He jerked awake, took her hand, and turned to face her.
His eyes softened, as he focused on her. His right hand found her cheek, and she closed her eyes, despite herself. Slowly, he pulled her down into his arms. Jaci’s heart broke, because she knew that he was reaching for her in his grief. She started, and pulled away. What did she care about him anyway?
“We were looking for something Dumbledore had left us in charge of finding. We were close. It was in the orphanage where Riddle used to be. We were on our way to the orphanage, when we ran into Bellatrix and Lucius.” Jaci didn’t want to hear anymore, but Remus didn’t know that. He kept on with his story. “Lucius binded me, and I watched as they took her soul. I couldn’t do anything.”
Jaci hardened her heart, and turned her back on him. She walked across the sitting room, before she turned back to him. She made sure she was in the doorway, easy for a quick getaway, once she had the final word. She glared at him.
“Do me a favor. Keep your nightmares to yourself. I have an early class tomorrow,” she said, turning to her room.
“You’re never going to forgive me, are you?” Remus said, ruining Jaci’s chance at having the last word, and making a quick getaway.
She turned to face him again. “What on earth are you talking about?”
“For me, rejecting you.”
“You think I care about that?”
“Why else would you be so angry at me?”
Jaci laughed coldly. “I’m not angry at you. You see, in order for me to be angry at you, I have to care enough to think about you.” Jaci grinned maliciously. “Until Harry came to escort Kristie and me to Grimmauld Place, I hadn’t given you a second though.”
Now Jaci turned, and walked into her room. She never did get back to sleep, instead dwelling fruitlessly on the past. When she finally decided to get up out of bed, and stop pretending to sleep, Jaci headed straight to the shower. After dressing, she was sure that she would be able to face Remus, and not break down apologizing for the words she’d said to him.
She walked out into the sitting room, and saw that her sofa was back, and that coffee was waiting at her desk. She walked up to it, and looked around. Remus was no where to be seen, and suddenly Jaci was wondering if maybe she shouldn’t have said such harsh things.
Then he walked back into the living quarters, looked at her, and made his way to the sofa. He sat down, staring at nothing in particular. Jaci turned to leave, deciding she’d spend her time in the office, preparing the next lesson. Then he spoke.
“I’m sorry,” he said, looking at her.
“For what?” she snapped.
“Keeping you awake.”
“Huh?” she asked, feigning dumb.
He grinned. “Ears of a canine,” he said, nodding to the door. “I heard you tossing and turning all night after I woke you up.”
His grin had always done things to her that she didn’t like to acknowledge. She turned away, as she felt her heart start to race, and she was sure he’d hear it. She turned to the door.
“It’s fine,” she said, opening the door. “Just don’t do it again.”
“I’m sorry,” he said again, and Jaci turned to look at him, rather exasperated.
“I said it was fine.”
“No, for before. When we were kids. I’m sorry for the way I treated you. I should have known that you would have given yourself completely, not just bits and pieces. That’s what I loved about you. I always knew where you stood, because you made sure to let me know.”
Jaci turned away from him. She walked out of the room, all the while thinking bitterly that he hadn’t loved her enough to be with her, the way he’d obviously been with this Dora. This one thought plagued her all through the corridors, until she reached her office. Harry was sitting there, waiting for her.
When he spotted her, he smiled. “You have a good night?” he asked, looking at her curiously. “How’s Remus?”
She furrowed her brow. “How did you know that Remus was here?”
Harry held out the map that she’d seen James brandishing more than once in her youth. She smiled. “How is he?” Harry asked again.
“I don’t know,” she answered, shaking her head. “I couldn’t tell you.”
He cleared his throat, and Jaci looked at him curiously. “There’s something I have to tell you, and do something about it.”
“What’s that, Harry?”
“The whole Malfoy family is awful, and they’re all evil. You have to change Kristie’s partner. Draco will no doubt manipulate her, and that’s not good.”
“No, you’re right, it isn’t.” She shook her head. “But there isn’t any body else to put her with. I’m’ not going to pair Draco up with either you or Ron, because you’ll probably kill him. Kristie, I hope, will be ok. She’s got you watching out for her.”
“I hope you’re right, Jaci, because I have a very bad feeling every time I see Kristie with Draco.”
He turned to go, but Jaci took his arm. “By the way, according to Remus, he and Dora were at the orphanage where Voldemort used to live in. Apparently, they were looking for something there. He didn’t tell me what, but he was looking for something there, when he ran into Lucius and Bellatrix.”
Harry nodded, as he stared in Jaci’s eyes. She could see the fear for what he had to do in his eyes, but she also spotted the determination. She smiled at him, pulled him into a hug, and sighed. Surprisingly, he hugged her back.
“You’re going to do fine, Harry,” she said, nodding. “You’re your father’s son, and that tells me that you’re going to do fine.”
Jaci laughed, before she let him go, and turned to enter the classroom. “Just be careful, Harry.”
Harry paced the Great Hall, as he waited for Ron and Hermione to come down for breakfast. He had just gotten back from visiting with Jaci, and he knew that he had to skip school today. He had to get to the orphanage, before anybody would see him. He turned to the right, and saw Kristie, walking in with Draco. She laughed at something he said, and Harry damn near growled.
“Kristie,” he called, making his way to her. She turned to face him and smiled.
“Hey Harry,” she said, as she moved to hug him.
Draco cleared his throat, and she turned to look at him. He shook his head, giving her a stern look. The transformation was instantaneous. She dropped her eyes to the floor, moved to his left side, and placed her hands behind her back. She looked at Harry slightly, before she returned her gaze to the ground.
“How are you doing?” Harry asked her.
“She’s fine,” Draco answered.
“I asked her,” Harry said, glaring at Draco. “Shut up and let her answer.”
Kristie looked at him with wide eyes. She shook her head slightly, and looked away. Draco held out his hand for her, and she took it, without question. The ire that Harry felt for Draco increased with every second he was there looking at them.
“Aren’t you fine, Kristie?” Draco asked, giving her fingers a squeeze.
“Y…yes, I’m fine, Harry,” she said, looking up at him. Then she turned to Draco, almost as if asking if she’d done the right thing. He nodded, and she smiled at him, then at Harry.
“There, now that you know she’s fine, get out of the way,” Draco said, as he tried to walk past him. Harry didn’t move.
“If you hurt one hair on her head, Malfoy, I’ll kill you with my bare hands, forget magic,” he growled, before turning to walk away.
“Oh, darling,” he heard Draco say, maliciously, “it seems that your friends don’t know how to play properly. We’ll have to talk about that later.”
Harry turned to look at them, and saw Kristie cowering in a chair, looking at him imploringly. Harry ground his teeth, and walked towards Ron and Hermione, who were in the doorway of the Great Hall, looking at him curiously.
“What was all that about, mate?”
“Nothing, never mind. I need to have my head clear, and I’m not going to, if I’m thinking about all that just happened.”
“What do you mean; you have to have your head clear? Where are you going?” Hermione asked, looking at him sternly.
“To an orphanage,” Harry answered, walking towards the front doors. “Take notes for me, will you?”
“You’re crazy,” Ron said, keeping step beside him. “We’re going with you.”
“You’re not going to be of any help to me at the moment. I need you here,” Harry answered, turning to Ron. “Look, all I’m doing is retrieving something. I’m not going to destroy it until I get back. I need you to keep an eye on Kristie. You have to make sure she’s ok.”
“Ron, please.” Harry shook his head. “Look, I’m not going to have peace of mind if the only two people who could possibly keep her way from Malfoy are with me.”
“Then take somebody else,” Hermione said, in a rush. “Someone from the DA. Neville perhaps.”
“Look, we’re not going to have peace of mind if you’re out there alone, which means we’re not going to be concentrating on Kristie.”
“Fine,” Harry said, nodding. He spotted Neville walking into the Great Hall, and started towards him. “Neville, I have a question.”
“Hiya Harry,” Neville said, nodding. “What’s wrong, you look like you’re scheduled for centaur trampling.”
“I need you to go with me somewhere. Can you apperate?”
“Really?” Ron asked, sounding really impressed. “No splinching or anything?”
“Nope, and on the first try. Granny was proud.”
“Good, then I need you to come with me, Neville,” Harry said, as he started walking out of the Great Hall again.
“Where to?” Neville asked, as they made their way to the entrance hall.
“On a mission,” Harry answered. “I need to do something, and I need help. Ron and Hermione have something to do for me here, so I need your help.”
“You got it, Harry,” Neville answered, with an air of determination all of a sudden. “Whatever you need, I’ll do.”
Harry stopped suddenly, and turned to look at Neville. “Really, no questions asked.”
“You’re going on a mission to stop You-Know-Who, right?” Harry nodded. “Then I won’t let you down, Harry.”
Harry nodded, and turned to head to the grounds. “We’re heading to the gate, and we’re apperating. Just think of me, Neville, and you’ll get there.”
Harry thought really hard of the room where he and Dumbledore had seen riddle that day when he’d turned eleven and gotten the news he was a wizard. Harry closed his eyes, pulled out his wand, and turned on the spot. When he opened his eyes, he saw that he was in the room that had once belonged to Tom. He turned and Neville appeared next to him.
“What are we doing here?” he asked, as they looked around.
“Looking for something.”
As he was walking around the room, his scar gave a mighty twinge. He flinched, and looked at Neville. “Take a step back, Neville.” Neville did as he was asked. “If something happens, run and get help from Hogwarts.” Neville nodded.
Harry looked around, to see where he was standing, and saw the bed, where Tom had slept for seventeen years. He got down on his knees, and looked under the bed. If he wasn’t mistaken, the wooden plank right under the bed was loose.
Harry moved the bed to the side, and stared down at the plank of wood. He grabbed his wand, and pointed it at it. “Wingardium Leviosa,” he said. The plank of wood quivered, but didn’t move. “Hmm.”
“Try waddi wassi,” Neville suggested.
Harry shrugged, and did so. The plank of wood shot up from the floor, and would have flown out the window, if Neville hadn’t summoned it to him. Harry turned to Neville, and nodded, with a big smile on his face.
“Well done, Neville.”
Harry looked down once again, and turned back to Neville, who handed him the blanket from the bed next to him. Harry nodded again, mutual understanding in their eyes. He wasn’t going to be sticking his hand into that hole bare. After wrapping the blanket around his arm, Harry reached into the hole.
Whatever he was expecting, it wasn’t what happened. He felt a jerk, and then he fell forward. He landed on his knees in the same room, but somewhat different. He turned to the right, and started. Tom Riddle, the eleven year old, was looking straight at him.
“What are you doing here?” he asked, looking at Harry closely.
“You can see me?” Harry asked.
“Of course I can,” Tom answered, in a rather impatient voice. “What are you doing here, and with that goblet?”
Harry turned to his hand, and saw the goblet in his hand. It was just as he remembered, with the badger and everything. He didn’t, however, understand was what he was doing here, in Tom’s room, in what had to be the past, and not with Neville.
“Nothing,” Harry answered, and turned to the door.
A nun was standing there, smiling at them. “Oh good you’ve met,” she said, nodding. “It’s a good think you came up here, darling. Now I don’t have to introduce you two.”
Harry looked at her curiously. Wasn’t this strange. C’mon Harry, because everything isn’t weird in this world. He nodded, and made a move to get out of the room. The nun shook her head, and motioned for him to sit on the bed.
“I’m afraid it’s time to sit and pray, children. Go ahead. I’ll be back in two hours. I’ll get you then.”
The nun walked out of the room, and Tom cleared his throat behind Harry. He turned, and saw Tom sitting on his bed. He wasn’t, however, praying. He was looking at Harry, a strange kind of recognition in his eyes. Tom smiled at him, still as unnerving as the adult version of the same smile, and Harry sat on his bed, not breaking eye contact.
“You’re one of them, aren’t you?” Tom asked, nodding his head.
“One of what?”
“The man who came to see me,” Tom answered, looking Harry up and down. “You’re wearing the same kind of robes he was wearing. Are you from the school? Are you here to take me shopping for my things?”
“No,” Harry answered, looking around the room. What did he have to do?
“If you’re not from the school, then who are you?”
Harry stood up, ignoring the boy. All of a sudden, Harry felt a sharp pain in the back of his head. He turned to look at Tom, and saw him glaring at the spot on Harry’s head that had hurt a few seconds ago. Harry growled.
“Cut it out, will you? I have to get out of here.”
“Good luck, the door is locked.”
Harry looked at Tom curiously, and walked up to the door. Tom’s eyes followed him there, and Harry pulled out his wand. Tom’s eyes widened. Harry turned away from the boy, and pointed the wand at the door.
“Alohamora,” he said, but nothing happened. Tom was looking at him, expecting great things no doubt. Harry looked down at the door, and sighed. He knew that the answer lied outside the door. Once he got it open, he would be able to go back home. With a sigh, Harry began to pace. What if he just waited the hour? The nun would be back, and she would open the door. Maybe that was the trick. Maybe he was supposed to do exactly as he was told.
“That’s it?” Tom asked, shaking his head. “You’re pathetic, aren’t you?”
“Would you shut up, already?” Harry snapped. “I’m trying to think.”
“I can unlock it.”
“I’m not taking your help, thanks.”
An hour later, the door opened, and the nun walked into the room. “Very good,” she said, and for some reason, Harry thought she meant that he’d done a good job.
Harry stood up and walked through the door. Bright sunlight was blinding him, and suddenly, he was out in the middle of a living room, and two identical pair of blue eyes were looking at him. The pair of identical mouths smiled at him, and a pair of identical hands helped him up.
He was in the apartment of Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, in Hogsmeade.
Kristie watched as Harry left with Neville, before turning back to Draco. He didn’t seem upset, but when he’d told her they’d talk later, she was sure she hadn’t misunderstood him. He had meant she was going to get beat for the way Harry had talked to him. Wasn’t that what he’d meant?
“I’m not going to hurt you,” Draco said, as if reading her mind.
Kristie looked down, and closed her mind. If there was one thing that Jaci had taught her how to do well it was Occlumens. When she turned back to Draco, he seemed to have furrowed his brow. He smiled, and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear.
“I’m not going to hurt you,” he said, again, placing a gentle kiss on her forehead. “I just wanted to make Potter angry.”
“Why did you have to use me,” she asked, before she turned away. She wasn’t supposed to question men’s decisions.
Draco nodded. “I apologize,” he said. Kristie turned to look at him, rather shocked. He seemed sincere, so she smiled at him.
They went throughout the day wanting to talk to Harry, but not finding him anywhere. She spotted Ron and Hermione walking a little bit away from her and Draco. She turned to look at Draco and smiled.
“I’ll be right back.”
“Where are you going?” he asked looking at Ron and Hermione as well.
“I have to ask Hermione if she’ll tutor me. We’re in the same house so it’ll be easier.”
“Very well, but don’t take long.”
She didn’t know why she has lied. The only thing she knew was that the look Draco was giving Hermione and Ron was scary. She stopped next to them, and Hermione quickly wound her arm through Kristie’s, and Ron followed suite. She looked at them curiously.
“Sorry, but Harry told us to keep an eye on you,” Ron said, glaring at Draco.
“So, then you know where he is?”
Hermione shot a glare at Ron, before looking at Kristie again. “No, we don’t know where he is, but he asked us to keep an eye on you, so that’s what we’re doing.”
“Is he expecting trouble?”
“Something about the way Malfoy was talking to you,” Ron answered.
“Oh,” Kristie said, with a smile. “That’s what I wanted to talk to Harry about. Draco was only joking. He wanted to get Harry riled. He’s not going to do anything to me. He told me so.”
“He’s not to be trusted,” Hermione said, looking at her curiously. “You should really stay away from him.”
Draco caught up to her, and beckoned her to him. She looked at Ron and Hermione, and smiled. With that, she turned and walked up to Draco. Finally, the last class they had was Defense Against the Dark Arts. Kristie and Draco walked into the classroom, and took their seats.
“All right, today, we’re going to be working on a spell to cure werewolves. Remember first and second chrinos only,” Jaci said. She pulled out her wand, and muttered something under her breath. A bright red flash appeared laced with silver. “That’s the effect you’re looking for. When you do this to a werewolf, they will instantly turn into a human again. It must be done at least three times, before the spell will take effect. Let’s try it.”
The rest of the class time was taken up with trying to make the spell work. Finally, at the end, Jaci called their attention again. “I was told that in order to pass you every month, I must have an essay, at least three feet long.” The class groaned. “I’m sorry, but I need to have that, or I’m supposed to fail you,” Jaci said, with a grin. “Things haven’t changed much since I was here. Right I’ll give you until next week to turn it in, but I really do need it. Don’t be afraid to ask the person sitting with you for help, as some of the things you’ll be researching will be very difficult.”
As the bell rang, Draco took Kristie’s hand, and pretty much dragged her to the library. He took her all the way to the back, in a shadowed corner, completely private. He sat her down in the chair, and then brought back books for their research. She grinned.
“We have until next week, Draco,” Kristie said, amusement in her voice.
“Yes, but if we get it out of the way now, we can have all the rest of the week to have fun.”
“Yes, that’s true.”
They studied into the night, writing notes that they might need for their papers. By the time the librarian came around, telling a group of second years that the library was closing, they had finished a foot worth of essay. Kristie looked at Draco, and smiled.
“I guess we should be getting back to the common room,” she said, looking down.
“She didn’t see us, you know,” Draco said, grinning. “We could probably stay here, and have all the privacy we need.”’
“Uh…” Kristie looked down at her parchment. “I’m not sure that’s a good idea,” she said, suddenly afraid to be alone with Draco. She looked up at him. “I might be missed.”
“By who? Weasley? That mudblood? Potter?” he asked, growling.
Kristie trembled. “Yes, by Ron and Hermione, and even Harry if he’s back.”
“Get going then,” Draco growled, seeming to swell before her eyes. “Get back to that blood traitor.”
She got up, and didn’t dare disobey him. She turned and walked all the way back to the common room. When she got there, she noticed that Ron and Hermione were looking at one another, and looked incredibly worried. Kristie looked at them curiously.
Ron turned to look at her, and shook his head. “We don’t know,” he answered. “He left this morning, and now we have no idea where he is.”
Kristie looked from one to the other, then turned and ran towards Jaci’s living quarters. She knocked frantically, for a few seconds, before the door opened. Kristie yelped, and took a step back. Then she took a deep breath. She smiled at Remus, and asked to come in.
“Probably out on the grounds, avoiding me.”
Remus looked so depressed, and so sad, that Kristie’s heart went out to him. However, she didn’t have the time to be sympathetic. “Harry’s gone. We don’t know where he is, but he’s gone!”
Remus stood up, and nodded. “I’ll bring him back. I know where he is.” He shook his head. “Damn it, Jaci, why did you have to tell him!”
She watched as Remus floo-ed out of the living quarters. Because she got tired of waiting for Jaci, Kristie decided to walk back to the common room. Along the way, she ran into Draco. She gasped, and jumped as she came to a stop. Her hands moved behind her back, and she looked down. She saw his black shoes come to a stop in front of her, but she didn’t look up. Then she felt his hand caress her face gently.
“I’m sorry I lost my temper,” Draco said, tucking a finger under her chin.
She looked at him, and nodded. “Ok, but I have to get back to the common room. It’s going to be after hours soon.”
“Right,” Draco said, taking a step away from her. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Draco watched as Kristie walked away. He’d almost blown the whole plan, because he’d gotten upset that she hadn’t done as he’d told. Ok, so maybe getting her into bed was going to be a little more difficult than he’d thought. Point was, he had to remember that she was the timid shy type. Draco grinned. He was going to enjoy this. And he’d enjoy the look on Potter’s face when she told him, because he would make her tell him about her and Draco. Then he would bring out his true colors, and teach Professor Leza a lesson. Kristie would be his little puppet in this show, and she would never be the wiser. He just had to be patient. That’s all it would take, patience.
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