The next morning, Heather got up early and was downstairs helping with breakfast when the other three got up. Snape was due to the house any minute to give Heather her Potions exam, and, though she was not nervous, still wished to be up and mentally alert.
Harry was the first up to wish her good luck, and to tell her to not let Snape’s hatred of their father get to her. Heather promised him she wouldn’t.
Hermione was up next, telling her to not let Snape bother her with his snide comments. Heather nodded. Ron didn’t say anything to her, other than “you’ll be great.”
Snape arrived just as Heather was finishing setting out her cauldron and potion supplies. Snape seemed to find these actions satisfactory, and get about having her make a Draught of Peace. The instructions he put up on a portable blackboard, and Heather nodded, checking, first, to make sure she had all the necessary ingredients. When she was sure she did, she let Professor Snape know she was ready to start.
He poked his head in with ten minutes remaining, and found, to his sheer disbelief, a light silver vapor rising from her potion. Ten minutes later, he corked a bottle and gave her the next potion, a Strengthening Solution. It came out a brilliant shade of turquoise, exactly as it was supposed to.
Snape found nothing to say, other than to give her the last potion, a Befuddlement Draught. When it was done, Snape handed her a copy of an old O.W.L. test and told her she had one hour.
Heather was done in twenty minutes. Snape looked doubtful, but agreed to grade it for her and tell her that evening if she would be permitted to take the N.E.W.T. potions class. Heather thanked Snape and smiled at him, leaving the room and hurrying up to the boys’ room, where Ron, Harry, Hermione and Ginny were playing Exploding Snap. Heather sat next to Ron and watched, opting not to participate.
Ginny won both games and then stated that she had letters to write. Harry looked at Ron and mouthed “Dean!” Ron proceeded to smack Harry with a pillow. Heather hit Ron, and Harry hit Hermione. They all started hitting each other, laughing.
After a few minutes, Harry laid back and looked over and Heather and Ron, whose hands were intertwined over their heads, attempting to throw one another off the bed. Hermione laughed and stretched out next to Harry, who turned away from his sister and best friend long enough to smile at her.
Heather and Ron went off the other side of Ron’s bed, and they could be heard laughing.
“Ouch!” Heather exclaimed. “You’re on my chest!”
Ron looked like a badly ripened carrot as he sat back on the bed. He mumbled “sorry” as he turned and looked at Harry and Hermione, who were laughing.
“Well, what shall we do today?” Heather asked, returning to the bed.
“Well, I plan on reading,” Hermione stated. Ron groaned. “There’s still a month left in the summer!”
“Yes, and we don’t know anything about the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, and I would like to be able to defend myself.”
Ron nodded mutely. “When do you find out about Potions?” Hermione asked Heather as she headed for the door of the room.
“Sometime this afternoon.”
Hermione nodded. “I’ll be in my room if you need me.”
“I’ll come too...we may have to start the D.A. up again and I’d like to be on top of things.” Harry hurried after Hermione, and Heather shook her head.
“Ten to one Defense is the last thing on his mind,” she stated to Ron.
“What do you mean?”
“So, what do you want to do today?” Ron asked.
“I dunno, exploring the house sounds like fun....”
Ron shook his head. “Not much to explore that won’t try to kill you.”
“Well, are there any wizarding places?”
“There’s Diagon Alley...if you want to buy your school stuff.”
“That would be fun, except I have to wait on books. Dumbledore told me in his last letter that I have a vault.”
“Probably the one Harry has.”
She shook her head. “Dumbledore told me that my parents left me some money, separate of Harry, should anything happen to him or I.”
Ron nodded. “Well, let’s go ask Mum.”
Molly was hesitant to let them go, before realizing that Voldemort was not likely to attack them in broad daylight in a street full of wizards. They hurried over and flooed before she could change her mind.
“I do not like traveling that way,” Heather stated once they’d entered Diagon Alley.
“Neither does Harry.”
They explored the shops after going to Gringotts. Heather’s vault was a little more full than Harry’s, owing to the fact that she hadn’t dipped into it for school supplies. Their Hogwarts letters had arrived earlier in the day, so they set about getting Ron’s books. (Heather would have to purchase her books when she set her course schedule.) She did, however, purchase herself a Firebolt broom with money she’d been saving for such an occasion.
Draco Malfoy spotted them from a distance, and Ron groaned when he noted Draco heading their way.
“Hello Ron,” Draco stated in an almost entirely civilized tone. Ron almost dropped Heather’s broom, which he had offered to carry for her.
“What do you want?” He asked.
Draco smirked slightly. “Only to be introduced to your lovely companion.”
Ron caught Heather’s eye, his expression clear: do not say who you are, do not give him so much as a hint.
“Heather Marshall.” Heather stated, shaking hands with Draco. Ron was grateful that Heather had opted to wear her hair up and hidden by a hat, and her eyes were once again violet.
She nodded, but crossed her arms across her chest. “Yes. I am a cousin of Ron’s.”
Ron tried to appear as if he wasn’t shocked by this. Draco looked to Ron.
“More Weasley’s at Hogwarts, lovely. See you in the pitch, Ron.” With that Malfoy walked away.
“That was way too civilized for a Malfoy.”
“Who is he?”
“Son of one of Voldemort’s inner circle, and captain of the Slytherin Quidditch team. Ignore him. He’s out to hurt Harry.”
She nodded. “Got it.”
“Though he did seem unusually...friendly.”
Heather shrugged. “Maybe he’s snogging your sister.”
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