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Chapter 5 : Introductions
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Okay so before you read this one I want you to know I have nothing against Dumbledore. But Elena's relationship with him was a complicated one and you'll find out more about that later. So, for now, enjoy!)
Chapter 5~ Introductions
"So Beauxbatons doesn't have O.W.L.s?" Uncle Sirius asked, confusedly at the dinner table of Grimmauld Place.
I'd just finished my third year three days before and Remus had come to get me that morning. The Order was having a very important meeting at which Dumbledore would be. Appearantly the old man needed to speak with me about something or other.
So I was having dinner with my uncles, Nymphadora and the most trusted members of the Auror. Because, if anyone less proven would've been there and overheard or pieced things together all on their own it would've been a disaster, of course.
Aidan's grandmum was there, Emmeline Vance. She'd greeted me with warmth and asked about Naphtalie, my parents and Jake, then gave me an affectionate pat before going to talk to Dedalus Diggle and Hestia Jones. Dora had started talking to tall black man called Kingsley, a wheezy voiced wizard named Elphias Doge and a frightening individual called Mad-Eye Moody (who kept complaining about his magical eye that was appearantly sticking- from an incident, I gathered, that took place at Hogwarts, I still had yet to get the full scoop on) he was, appearantly he used to be an excellent Auror and had always been a very good friend of Dumbledore's. Now why didn't that surprise me?
"No, " I answered, "We take one set of exams in sixth year and that's it."
Sirius shook his head and chuckled.
"What?" I asked defensively. He was Sirius, I had good reason. All day he'd been popping out at my from behind walls, creepy dark objects and popping out of hidden cupboards.
"I should've went to Beauxbatons!" he laughed.
I laughed with him, "It is pretty amazing." I told him, "Gorgeous and right by the beach. Always warm. Hardly ever rainy." I stared mournfully out the window at the huge storm clouds rolling in. Thunder rolled as if on cue.
He chuckled at me again.
"What?" I repeated, as a grin crept acrossed my lips.
"You just remind me of your mum alot that's all."
"I do?!" My voice was eager. I loved hearing about my mum. And getting to know Uncle Sirius was like I had opened up a whole knew book of stories about my parents. He knew loads of stories that Remus had never told me. Some of them that Remus had never even heard.
He smiled, reminiscent of the devistatingly gorgeous young man I'd seen in so many pictures. How could I have hated him so much before? The idea was so silly and unfathomable to me now. Hating Uncle Sirius."Yeah. Lils was a big bookworm, too. She read a new book nearly every week, like you. Hated storms, too. She liked the rain part, but not thunder or lightening."
"Why'd she like the rain?" I asked confused but still smiling.
He grinned crookedly, remembering. "She said it was romantic or some rubbish. Moony seemed to get it. But Prongs and I never understood. But she had some sort of notion that it would be terribly sweet to get caught in the rain with James."
"Aww." I cooed. It was romantic.
He laughed again, "You sound like her, too, ya' know."
"Yeah, your voice. It's like hers was. The way it sounds, the tone of it. You've definitely got her laugh. Half of what you say, though, sounds like James." He laughed heartily. It sounded like a bark.
"Told you." Remus said to him, shortly before taking another bite of his dinner, which he seemed to enjoy immensely.
I beamed, happily.
The door opened and Sirius looked up, then stiffened. Remus felt him and looked up too, his face got a strange expression on it. I turned around to see who'd caused such a reaction in my uncles.
Probably just the old man coming to tell them about more Death Eater activity. I began to prepare myself for the inevitable. I was always told to leave before these conversations took place.
As if I wouldn't be eavesdropping anyway.
But when I turned around, I didn't lock gazes, coldly, with Dumbledore's misty baby blues.
Instead, standing before us, was a snobby looking man with greasy hair-black as an oil slick, sallow looking skin, all black robes and eyes like coal. When he saw my face, his froze. His eyes widened and the sneer he'd worn before was wiped off instantly.
I blinked at him. I was pretty sure I knew who this was. But I didn't know why he was looking at me funny. And I didn't like it. "Snivellus." Sirius broke the silence. Confirming my suspisions about this mans identity. This was Severus Snape, a.k.a. Snivellus. My dad's old enemy. The ridiculous boy who'd been obsessed with the dark arts and hell bent on exposing Uncle Remus's "furry little problem" in his youth.
I already loathed him. He'd been the one who'd told people at Hogwarts about Uncle Remus when he was teaching there. He was the one who threw a hissy fit when he didn't get to watch Uncle Sirius get the kiss. And he was the one who'd inadvertedly- though I hadn't exactly figured out how (yet)- been responsible for Voldemort targeting my family so many years ago.
Oh yes, I really did loathe this man and I hadn't spoken a word to him yet. My eyes narrowed infinitesimally. "Black." The man answered, coldly, tearing his gaze away from mine.
And before anymore could be said, the door opened again and it walked Albus Dumbledore. One of my least favorite people....
"My sources tell me that a certain young Mr. Potter is down there."
I didn't turn around.
I'd been in this small, sunny yellow room so many times that every scent, sound and movement was burned forever into my memory.
Which is how I knew that Naphtalie was standing in the doorway with her arms folded acrossed her chest. Her blue eyes were on the back of my head. I could feel them. And I knew Naphtalie so well that I could see her exact expression without having to look. I didn't need to look.
Looking was overrated.
I'd looked far too much today.
I'd looked at my Uncle Remus and Dora lying cold and still in their caskets this morning. I'd watched everyone cry and suffer as they said goodbye to the three deceased while I sang one of Uncle Ted's favorite songs. And I'd looked at the family my older brother had found for himself, a hord of redheads, a bushy haired brunette girl and a stunningly pretty blonde.
I watched as he held the redheaded girl (who's name I still couldn't remember), comforting her. And I watched as the plump little woman mothered him as one of her own. I felt a stab of envy as the pretty brunette hugged him.
It wasn't a romantic kind of hug, like with the redhead. I wasn't jealous of her. Well I was, but not because she hugged him. I was jealous of all of them, to be honest. Because they knew my brother so well and I didn't know him at all.
But I was especially tempted to glower at the brunette, however unfair that might be. Not because she was romantically involved with my brother. No, I was envious of the brunette because I recognized what kind of hug she gave him. I recognized it from the millions of times I'd given the same type of hug to a slightly taller boy with blue eyes.
It was the hug of a sister.
That's what her relationship with him was. He'd found himself a sister already. All on his own.
Maybe not one with his DNA. But I could tell she was considered- by him anyway- as his sister. And that hurt. It hit me hard. Seeming to get the one spot that was untouched by the pain and grief I'd felt for everyone close to me that'd died. The one unbruised part of me. It hurt and it also made me nervous.
Was there room for me in his life? Had this whole secret been kept from him so long that it ceased to be relevant? Would he even care if I told him?
Finally, I tore my eyes away from the brother I still had yet to know, only to be bombarded by funeral goers. They expressed their awkward condolences and raved about how well I sang. They told me Ted, Remus and Dora would be proud.And I thought bitterly to myself, How would you know?
Soon, it had become too much for me to handle without having the impulse to hit someone. I took a drowsy Teddy from my mother's arms and told her and Aunt Andromeda that I was going to her house to lay my godson down for a nap. I used that excuse to escape the mobs of people who'd gathered to express their sorrow for my family and say goodbye to the three beloved. I needed to get out of there, immediately.
I saw Harry watch me, from the corner of my eye as I cradled our godson tenderly in my arms, but I didn't meet his gaze. I needed to be far away from this place and fast.
So, with one last glance towards the closed caskets, I carried an already drifting back to sleep, Teddy to a quiet, completely empty room. Shutting the door behind me, I closed my eyes and pictured the sunny yellow walls and queen-sized bed that I'd laid on, as I watched my cousin get ready for dates and parties, so many times before.
I breathed a sigh of relief as Teddy and I popped into Dora's old bedroom. Then I walked over to his mother's old bed, unpried his arms from around my neck and conjured a pillow walll around the edge of the bed, placing the chubby six month old in the middle.
I stared out of the window for nearly half an hour before I heard several cracks downstairs announcing the arrivals of a few wizards and witches. Most likely my family members but I didn't go down to greet them. I didn't move.
I continued to gaze out at the lush green hills and the small back road leading to the house. Every once in a while, Teddy with coo or babble or sigh in his sleep and I'd watch him with sad eyes. Here, alone as I was, with only Teddy to judge, I let the tears slide silently down my cheeks.
It had been a long day already. And I was still standing in the same spot when Naphtalie found me, up in Nymphadora's room. The tears were still slipping quietly down my cheeks, onto my collarbone. And small, fragile, obliviously orphaned Teddy Remus Lupin was still fast asleep on his mother's old bed.
When I made no answer, she sighed and came to stand next to me at the bay window. Her features were arranged exactly how I knew they would be. She wrapped her arm around my shoulders and I wrapped mine around her waist. We stayed like that for a moment before she finally tore her gaze away from the window.
"You going to go meet him?"
It was my turn to sigh, "No."
"What? Why not, Lena?"
Another gusty sigh escaped through my lips. "Because."
"Oh. Right. Of course." Sarcasm rang heavy in her words. "Because. That's such an obvious answer. Why didn't I think of it before?"
"He's at a funeral." I told her with a twinge of annoyance. "He doesn't need his long lost sister popping up." I explained. And to my dismay, an image of the curly haired brunette flashed in my head. "Not yet." I murmured softly. More to myself than to Naphtalie. And then a tad louder than nessecary I said, "Nor do I feel much like dealing with a famous big brother at the moment either."
"Dealing with him?" I knew why Naphtalie was so incredulous at this declaration. "You've been waiting and whining and begging to meet him for as long as I can remember."
"I wasn't whinin'!"
She shot me a diparaging look before continuing. "My point is, that it's been your dream for ages. And now, you're up here cowering, hiding away when you've finally got the chance?"
"I'm not hiding." I huffed, folding my arms acrossed my chest while continuing to stare out at the small road where cars were appearing every few seconds.
"You are." Naphtalie disagreed. "And Nymphadora wouldn't like it. Niether would Remus."
Anger flared within me. How dare she throw this at me? Didn't she care at all that I was hurting? Didn't she care that I had to say goodbye to the most vital tie I had left to my real parents today? That for so many years Uncle Remus was the only thign I had to connect me to my real identity. Didn't it matter that, on top of the lose of Dora and Uncle Teddy, I'd had to see the last Marauder in his casket? That my godson was now orphaned. A feeling I'd prayed he would never have to experience. One of the worst things that can possibly happen to you when you're only a few months old.
"Don't get mad." She told me, seeing my eyes flash with steel, I guess. "It's the truth. You know Remus was against keeping the secret in the first place. And Dee always rooted for you with me when you'd argue with Dumbledore over it. And now that you're allowed to tell, they wouldn't like that you're hiding."
I huffed again, "I'm not hiding." I repeated futily, "I was watching Teddy sleep."
"Mhm." She obviously didn't buy it. "C'mon," she sighed, "Let's go get some food. It all looks amazing."
Both of us whipped around to see a familiar blonde with violently violet eyes (the product of blood red contacts over midnight blue eyes) was coming towards us. She was stunning. Her banana blonde curls fell loosly around her shoulders in perfect spirals, framing her gorgeous heart-shaped face. The eyes of every male around followed her as she glided in her off the shoulder black dress with reddish purple sash tied around it.
I laughed and rolled my eyes. She and Naphtalie had exactly the same taste in outfits. It was scary sometimes.
"Hey Brigitte." We said in unison as she got nearer to us.
We closed the distance and she hugged us each, giving the standard peck on each cheek. "Dora and Remus and your uncle." She murmured. "I'm so sorry." And, despite the outrageous amount of times I'd heard those words today, I knew that she meant it more than all of the other put together.
Brigitte Dubose was our best friend. At school, the three of us were inseperable. We were always getting in trouble together or lying out on the beach or getting into water fights. Bee, Lena and Nat the trouble-making trio.
Every summer, Brigitte would spend the first half with her family out of obligation and then rush to our house as soon as she could. She even had her own room. Right in between mine and Naphtalie's. It had been our guest room but in our third year we'd painted it lavender (the three of us with gallons of paint that was fun) and decorate it to fit her. From then on it was no longer the guest room. Whenever we had guest and Brigitte wasn't there we still always called it 'Bee's room'.
In fourth year, I told her my secret. And, to my astonishment, she believed me. "I always knew you were special, Lena. It's not that big of a shock." She'd told me as Naphtalie and I gaped at her.
Brigitte had been the third sister for a long time.
"Thanks, Bee, " I smiled half-heartedly.
"How're you holdin' up?" she asked, sincerely.
"Been better, ya' know?" She did. I knew she did.
Brigitte was half English. Her mother had been head of the Foreign Magical Relations Department, but she'd been murdered by Voldemort in our fifth year. Her father had been away on business and she and her older brother Henri had gone out to see their cousin's Muggle band play. When they got hom their mum was dead. Murdered. Just after Voldemort had been 'exposed'. Just as the world was recognizing his return. Just as the death tolls were picking up.
Brigitte made the familiar humming sound she only did when she could empathise with someone's suffering. Nat and I had always teased her about it. As had the rest of our friends at school.
... "So I was thinking that we shoul-" Naphtalie didn't finish her sentence because a familiar whooshing sounded above us and an familiar grey owl landed on the table.
"Cleo what are you doin' here?" I cooed to Brigitte's beloved pet.
"She's got a letter." Jake told me sarcastically.
I stuck my tongue out at him and untied the letter from Cleo's leg. I ripped open the tearstained letter and read it. Then I read it again.
And then I handed it to Naphtalie. She was just as shocked as I was.
It's so terrible. Mum's been murdered. He got to her. Nobody else was home. Henri and I went to go see Andre play and when we got home. She was on the floor. It was so awful.
I can't write anymore. Please come over, I need you bother.
"Oh my God."
Within the hour we were there.
Brigitte sobbed into me as I held her and Naphtalie had busied herself by getting a load of tissues and wallowing comfort food- should Bee decide to eat ever again.
"I- i- it h- hu-hurts," Brigitte wailed.
I kissed the top of her head as tears ran down my own cheeks. "I know, hon. I know." Was all I could say. I knew nothing would heal her. I felt so helpless watching her suffer. She was my second sister. Not exactly the same way as Naphtalie and I, but definitely different from our other girlfriends. She was another sister.
"I-I -I d-don't th-tha-think I c-can do this," She sobbed.
"Yes you can, Bee. You can and we'll be right there with you the whole way." I promised, "Whenever you need us. Anything you need. Even if it means crawling into tiny, dark, bug-infested places. " I joked feebly.
She choaked out surprise laughter and sniffled. "Tha- Thanks."
"Anytime." Naphtalie and I said in unison.
This made her laugh again once and soon after the water works started once more. I hugged her tight, wanting to absorb all her pain. I knew I couldn't but I wanted to.
I held her like that almost the whole night until she laid her head on my lap and cried herself to sleep. I shifted a few hours later and rested my head on Naphtalie's stomach (luckily Bee's bed was huge) and pretended to drift off into a dreamless slumber.
The reality was, I stayed up all night missing my real parents- as I often did- and feeling slightly bitter as I wondered when I'd ever, or if I'd ever get to meet my brother.....
"You see him yet?" She asked us. Mainly me.
I knew who she meant. How could I not? "Yes." I sniffed, curtly.
"And, she's chickened out." Nat told her.
"Nuh-uh!" my friend exclaimed, scanalized.
Naphtalie nodded dryly. "Yep."
"Lenny!" Brigitte whined, purposely using the nickname I hated. "You can't chicken out you have to tell him your his-"
"Shhhh! Do you want to alert the whole bloody world?" I hissed.
She just flipped her blonde mane and chuckled.
"That's what I've been telling her." Nat said, as if Bee had been able to finish her sentence.
Brigitte shook her head and clicked her tongue, "Always so stubborn."
"You two are five." Naphtalie interjected, "Tops."
We both gave her whithering looks.
She held up her hands, palms out. "I only speak the truth."
I sighed, "C'mon, I'm hungry."
The eavesdropping wasn't nearly as fun when Severus Snape was shouting. It took all of the challenge away.
The Order had had their meeting and I'd actually been aloud to sit in. But then Snivellus had to go and request a private word with Dumbledore, Uncle Sirius stayed in the room, as everyone in The Order left, saying it was his house and he'd sit in on any conversation he wanted, just to annoy Snape. And Uncle Remus stayed to keep Padfoot from doing anything rash.
So Dora and I -the only ones left- eavesdropped, leaning against the other side of the door.
"Calm down, Severus, please." Dumbledore told him serenely.
"Yeah, calm down Snivellus." I heard Uncle Sirius jeer. It made me smile.
"CALM DOWN?! CALM DOWN?! HOW CAN I CALM DOWN WHEN YOU NEVER TOLD ME?!"
Uncle Sirius scoffed. "Why would anyone tell you? You were a Death Eater, 'member? A Voldemort-Arse-Kisser?" He reminded him, "Lily and Prongs wanted to keep her safe. He was already after Harry they weren't about to let him know they had two babies. And once they were gone it was vital, for Ellie's safety, that she remain a secret. Especially since all of your no good Death Eater mates were-"
"Enough." The old man interrupted my uncle's speech. "Niether of your pasts are squeaky clean-"
"However," Dumbledore pretended Sirius hadn't spoken, "Sirius is right about the fact that we had to keep Elena's identity secret, Severus. For her protection." I knew that tone well enough to know how his eyes would bore into the poor, unsuspecting person he was speaking to as if he could see into their very soul. "It was vital that she remain unknown. Especially to anyone who'd just come over to our side."
"BUT IT'S BEEN YEARS! THIRTEEN YEARS, ALBUS! AND YOU STILL DIDN'T TELL ME?!" Snape burst, "YOU NEVER TOLD ME SHE HAD A DAUGHTER!"
Nymphadora and I looked at eachother. We'd both caught it.
He'd said she. Not he. Not they. She.
"ALL THIS TIME! YOU STILL CAN'T TRUST ME?! YOU TRUST CHILDREN AND THESE TWO AND YOU DIDN'T TRUST ME?!"
I knew he was refering to Dora, Jake and Naphtalie. They'd all been mentioned by me during dinner.
"We already knew, Snivellus." Sirius reminded him, "James and Lily trusted us, not Albus. We were their best friends. Or have you forgotten?"
I heard a furious snarl and a crash. Then the door was yanked open and Dora and I tumbled into the room.
"Well now, Severus." Dumbledore chuckled with obvious amusement, "I suppose it's time you met Elena Lily Potter." ...
"Elena! Naphtalie!" Malinda Vance, Aidan's mother, rushed over to us. "Come my dears, I want you to meet a few young people." And with that she pulled the two of us away. We let her, with a wave towards Brigitte and our other friends.
And then I saw where she was dragging us. I bulked too late. We were already there.
A large group stood there, including Jake, Aidan and their friend Eli Zimmermen. The group was made up of several tall redheads, the bushy-haired girl, a familiar willowy blonde and several others.
One of them was- yeah, you guessed it- Harry Potter.
Oh God. Oh God. Oh God. Oh God. Oh God. Not. Happening. This. Is not. Bloody. Happening.
Yes it is, a voice in my head answered.
I mentally glowered at it.
"Elena, Naphtalie," My love interest's mother said. "You, of course, know Jake, Aidan and Eli. This is Luna Lovegood, her father owns The Quibbler... "
A hazy looking dirty blonde waved.
"And Melanie Moon...Demelza Robins... Dean Thomas....Seamus Finnigan...Allison Greybelt... Neville Longbottom... Daniel Harper... Vivera Covington...Roger Davies..."
We'd heard half of the names before. Most of them had been in my brother year at Hogwarts (where he was a proud Ravenclaw) or older friend (or younger but those were mostly the girls and Quidditch mates).
"Michael Corner...Cho Chang... Lavender Brown... Colette Barmy... Hannah Abbott... Angelina Johnson... Parvati and Padma Patail - they're twins as well..." Two very pretty Indian girls looked us up and down, "....Katie Bell....Oliver Wood... You must've met Fluer but have you met her husband, Bill Weasley?" She asked as Fluer smile affectionately at us. "...And his brothers Percy, Charlie, Ron and George Weasley."
My eyes locked with George. The George I'd met from earlier. George Weasley. And suddenly it clicked. The strange behavior after Naphtalie told them we were twins. Twins.
"The Weasleys- you remember me talking about the Weasleys right?.....They have the twins, Fred and George..."
The memory rang in my ears as if my big cousin had uttered the words yesterday. And then I remembered reading the list of deaths and a name had stuck out, Fredrick Weasley.
I felt horrible and nearly missed Malinda say, "....And that's their little sister Ginny- she's your age." The redhead with her fingers laced in my biological brother's attempted a smile.
Ginny! That's her name!
"... And that there is Hermione Granger..."
I resisted the impulse to glare at the brunette who'd hugged my brother like a sister earlier. She smiled at me in a perfectly friendly way lifting the hand that wasn't held by the one named Ron, in greeting. I wanted to hate her but I couldn't find a reason yet. Dammit.
"And this," She said proudly, " this, as you probably know already, is Harry. Harry Potter."
Emeralds locked with emeralds.
He looked at me like I was a particularly difficult math problem he was trying to figure out. Or an ancient rune he was desperately trying to decipher.
Did he see the resemblance?
"Everyone, these are the Porter twins. Jake's little sisters, Elena and Naphtalie." Malinda finished.
"It's nice to meet you both. I only wish it was under better circumstances." The brunette said, sadly and she stuck out her hand. Expecting us to shake it.
Oh this'll be interesting.
(So there it is. If you like it please review!)
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