Chapter 2 : Katya's Secret
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Katya groaned and sluggishly picked her head up of the floor. She groped at her forehead, only to find a massive bump there. It appeared that she had landed on her front when she’d fallen, although she could have sworn that she was going backwards. Perhaps she had blacked out before she hit, and turned in midair?
She touched the bump, hissing through her teeth when it stung under her fingers. Internally, she was grimacing even more. Her hiss had come out in a deep throated gargle. If that damned potion had done something to her voice, there would be hell to pay.
Realizing she was on the ground, Katya momentarily panicked, and reached down to tug down the hem of her dress, which was undoubtedly riding up. However once her hands reached there, her fingers touched smooth pant legs instead. Now extremely puzzled, Kat sat up the rest of the way, and rubbed her heavy eyes, trying to work some life into them.
She looked up slightly, into George’s eager eyes. “How do you feel?” He asked hurriedly.
“Fine,” she grumbled. “Your damned potion didn’t work. It’s—” She paused, heavy dread settling into her chest…her very flat chest.
“Au contraire,” George said gleefully. “It worked wonderfully. Ew, you look just like my brother. In retrospect, maybe this was a bad idea after all.” The smile on his face told her than in spite of his words, he wasn’t regretting a thing.
“Just like who?” She shouted, springing to her feet. Kat looked down at her body, to see only the boxy lines of a suit: the groomsmen suit Fred had been wearing. She ran her hands up over her hips, which were now narrower than her broadened shoulders and into her hair, chopped short. Her hands starting to shake, Katya couldn’t hold back a large scream, which came out deep throated and hoarse. “George,” she fumed, approaching and gripping his wrists tightly. “What. The. Hell? What is wrong with you? I want my body back! Don’t you want me to have my body back?” Katya was trying to hold back brimming tears, but she hadn’t cried in as long as she could remember, so there was no reason to start now.
“I had to,” he responded, gently shaking his hands free. “I knew you and Fred would never get along without my help, even if I had to force that help on you.”
“Oh Merlin,” she whimpered, turning back around. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw her own body, lying back down on the floor, motionless. “Damn it.” She raced over to herself, kneeling down at her head and grabbing her own shoulders. She turned anxiously to George. “Is Fred in here?” She shouted.
George approached, looking mildly worried. “He should have woken up by now. It didn’t take any of the tests this long.” Just as he was finished speaking, the eyelashes on Katya’s body fluttered and opened.
“George,” muttered Fred in Katya’s voice. “When did we get a triplet?”
Katya groaned, and fell back on her heels. “He’s an idiot!” She exclaimed, rubbing her temples. George looked like he wanted to agree for a second, and had opened his mouth to speak when Fred’s hands drifted up to his head, and instead of his short cropped style, he met with the resistance of a mane of curls. “Don’t run your hands though them, idiot,” Katya scolded, grabbing Fred’s hand. “Not when it’s still curly. You’ll break the curls apart and it’ll turn into frizz.”
Fred looked into his own face for a minute, hardly appearing to believe what was happening, when he suddenly burst into raucous laughter. He stood up with the other two, still hiccupping with laughter. “I…think...I…got…the…better…deal!” He howled, putting his hands on his hips—Katya’s hips.
“Don’t touch me,” she snarled, ripping his hand away from her body’s hip. “Do not touch me Fred, or so help me I will permanently maim this good for nothing body I'm stuck in until I can get mine back.”
“This is my body now, ice queen,” Fred replied, sticking a hip out and pouting. “Merlin, I think I can get used to this Queen Bitch thing. After all, I’ll be expected to keep up your legacy, so I have to learn it somehow.”
“You could never pass for me. You’re a pathetic spineless carp, and it won’t be hard to keep up that legacy, believe you me.”
Fred extended one perfect manicured finger in Kat’s direction. “One of these days,” he started, only to be interrupted by a yell from George.
“Shut up!” His tone was panicked and frantic, something that caught both Kat and Fred's attention. They turned to see him standing at the top of the stairs, peering out at the reception. He turned back to look at them, terror written on every inch of his face. “They’re here. Sweet Merlin, they’re here.”
“What’re you talking about, George?” Fred said the words sharply, visibly anxious upon seeing his brother’s uneasy demeanor. “Who is coming?”
George took a shaky breath, obviously trying to keep himself calm. “The Death Eaters. They’re at the wedding. I don’t know what happened, I don’t know how they got past the wards; we all worked on those. But they’re here. They’re looking for people. Looking for us.”
Kat and Fred exchanged a momentary glance. Their argument would have to be temporarily put on hold, for now they were facing things far greater and far more vital than an argument about the misguided sampling of an experimental potion.
Katya rushed up the stairs to George’s side, to see for herself. Sure enough, there were hooded and cloaked figures all throughout the yard. The beautiful silk hangings and draped flowers and vines of ivy were consumed in flames, and there were people lying motionless on the ground. The very sight of it made Katya sick to her stomach. “What do we do?” She whispered to the other two.
“We run,” she heard her voice answer. “As fast as we can. They’ll find us here.” Katya turned to see Fred looking worriedly at George. “What do you think happened? I mean…you don’t think that they got Ha—”
“No,” George intercepted his words sharply. “I don’t see them. They must have gotten away. I’m sure they’re safe, Fred.” Fred nodded and turned away, still looking worried. George looked back out over the scene, seeming to be calculating something. “We have to run…now.” He grabbed each of their hands and yanked them both out of the cellar. They had to go past the reception area before they made it safely into the woods. That would mean a break for it. “We’re less obvious one at a time,” George whispered. “I’ll go first, then Katya, then you Fred.”
George turned around and waited until a time the Death Eaters looked considerably occupied before he began to sprint across the grounds, crouching down all the while. He ducked behind a pillar halfway before taking off again to the safely before taking off again to the safety of the woods. Miraculously, he made it there without any incident, and he beckoned for Katya to follow.
She eyed the activity of the Death Eaters, crouched and took off in just the way that George had. She could feel the blood pulsing through her veins, and she could hear it pounding in her ears. When she reached the midway pillar, she leaned against it, taking heaving breaths. She could afford only a second to gather herself, for she could still hear the activity of the Death Eaters behind her, and knew that if she stayed still for long, they would undoubtedly find her. She peered around the pillar, and took off toward the woods, finally reaching it safely.
Kat collapsed against the tree, drinking in the air like she had never tasted the like of it before. She saw George beckon for Fred to take off, but she stayed against the strong tree, too overwhelmed by the sudden panic to do much but keep her new body upright. But her head snapped toward Fred when she heard George gasp sharply. There was a Death Eater approaching Fred, and neither of the other two could call out, for fear of being discovered themselves.
“Stop!” The Death Eater called out. “You! Stop!” He began top run toward Fred in long strides, and Katya figured the only reason he didn’t Stupefy Fred immediately was because the man knew he would catch him anyways…or because he thought it was rude to do that to a woman, what irony.
Fred’s head turned, and as he saw the Death Eater, his strides widened. Katya could see the sheer, blind panic on his face when he turned back toward them, hidden in the trees. She could feel George shaking beside her, and letting out little gasping noises sporadically.
The Death Eater, upon seeing Fred run harder, also increased his stride, and reached Fred in a matter of seconds. “Trying to make a dash for the woods, are we?” He asked, grabbing the slender wrist of Katya’s body. Fred whirled to face him, and the Death Eater audibly gasped. “Ms. Bennet? What are you doing here? At this blood traitor wedding?” Kat saw the confusion in Fred’s visage, and she felt George stiffen next to her.
“I—I,” Fred stuttered out, looking at his captured wrist. The man seemed to realize what he was doing, and quickly let go of it. Fred half looked like he wanted to make another dash for it, but if he did the man would know that something was wrong.
“My apologies, Ms. Bennet,” the Death Eater said to Fred. “I thought you were another of these blood traitors, trying to flee. Your father didn’t say you were going to be here, or else we would have been more careful not to hurt you. He did know, didn’t he?”
Katya felt paralyzed inside. They would know now…they would know her secret. She saw a series of thoughts go over the surface of Fred’s face. Hopefully the Death Eater would think it was shock at the night’s events. Suddenly, Fred adopted a mighty smirk, and he crossed his arms across his chest while cocking a hip out to the side.
“Why else do think I would be here?” Katya heard him say in an icy tone. “Do you think my father tells you everything?” He made a tsking noise, and lifted his chin. “Honestly, how foolish. And I’m sure he would love to know how you chased me down and captured me. And I’m sure the Dark Lord would love to know how carried away you got here tonight.”
Katya inhaled sharply, her fingernails bitign sharply into the meat of her palm. That was a mighty gamble that Fred had taken, but if he had guessed right, then he could have saved everything. The Death Eater gaped and sputtered. “H—how do you know what we were supposed to do here tonight?”
Fred smirked again. “Don’t be an idiot,” he hissed. “I know what the Dark Lord wants. He wants Harry Potter far more than he cares about any of these other blood traitors. Harry Potter was here tonight, that’s why you came. Not to cause this fray, this massacre.”
Now it was the Death Eater’s turn to smirk. “You think the Dark Lord will care that we took down a few other blood traitors before snatching the boy?”
Fred shook his head condescendingly. “No. But he will when I tell him that your…activities prevented you from getting the Potter boy at all. I’m sure he will care about that in vast quantities.” Another gamble. But judging from the Death Eaters face, it was one that paid off. Fred smirked again. “That’s what I thought. Now let me be; I have far more important things to do than talking to you.” Fred stalked away, holding his back straight and chin up. The Death Eater stared at him for a moment longer, before growling and turning on his heel back to the rest of his folk. No doubt he thought that his previous encounter would cause him his life.
Fred kept walking, and the other two saw him slip into the woods slightly farther along. It was best if they stayed where they were until he found them. George turned to her with a blank expression on his face. “What the hell was that about?” He asked, his voice a barely-controlled whisper.
“You know,” she whispered, now missing her feminine form more than ever. Usually, she could hide her face – hide her shame – with her hair, but now she was open and vulnerable.
“Then why are you afraid to say it?” He shot back. A worried look crossed his face. “Kat…is that why…” He gestured in between them. “Is that the reason for this? Is it because they needed an in to the blood traitor family, and to Harry?”
“No! George, no,” she reassured him. “I swear it isn’t. I didn’t know about…well, about anything until a year ago, after the Ministry found about You-Know-Who and all the shops in Diagon closed down. I found out by accident. It was the day I saw you at the joke shop. I went into my father’s study with afternoon tea and I saw him there with…him: You-Know-Who. After that, it wasn’t hard to guess. I never told my brother, I never told anyone. I’m trying to protect everyone.”
“Protect,” he scoffed, turning away. “Merlin, Fred was right about you. I never should have trusted you.”
“Don’t say that,” she whined. “I never shared the beliefs that my father did. I tried to take Roman and run away but…I couldn’t. No one that close to the Dark Lord gets away.”
“The Dark Lord,” he muttered, running his hands through his short hair. “The Dark Lord? God, Katya! You really are one of them.”
“I’m not,” she said, more angrily this time. “And shut up about it! You don’t know anything, George! You think you’ve seen things, you think you’ve experienced stuff. You have no idea. You think it’s so tough, seeing You-Know-Who in a newspaper, or seeing that someone you maybe-kinda know has been killed in some raid? I’ve seen him in my house, drinking tea that I made. Try imagining that for a second. Try imagining how it must have been to keep it secret from him – the world’s greatest Legilimens – that you loathe every aspect of him, and wish you could see him dead and crumpled on the floor.” Katya fell back on the tree again, and looked up to see an expression that could be considered sympathetic on George’s face.
“I’m sorry. I was—”
“Yeah whatever,” she shot back quickly, hiding her emotion behind a mask of stillness.
“Really, I am,” he insisted. “I don’t know how bad it must have been. I have no idea. So…what did your father…do for him?”
“He was with him from the beginning,” she said, her voice tight and full of understated hate. “He’d been there all along. You-Know-Who trusts him, and he hardly trusts anyone. My father is like…what you might call a chief advisor. He’s You-Know-Who’s ultimate Death Eater, his first mate.”
“No shit,” came a voice from the woods. Fred stepped out, twigs and leaved stuck in his long hair. “Talk about the Spanish Inquisition. I thought I was dead.”
Katya stood, seriousness written on every inch of her face. “If you’d have made one mistake,” she started. “You would have been. Come on,” she took a step into the woods, in the direction of the nearest town. Fred and George exchanged worried looks and followed suit.
A/N: Well, there we go! :) The twins know Katya's secret, which I honestly wasnt planning on using, but it ended up writing that way! Tell me what you thought in that little gray review box down there! Thanks for reading!