Really? Really? Death Eaters tormenting muggles, someone sending up the Dark Mark, and I just happen to run into an Auror?
“Auror Shacklebolt, we meet again.” Well at least they couldn’t accuse me of anything.
“What are you doing out here?”
“You know, romantic moonlit walk through the woods,” I replied sarcastically. Beside me Fred snorted.
“Who’s your friend?” Shacklebolt asked, apparently not amused.
“Who’s yours?” I probably shouldn’t be mouthing off to an Auror. Not really the smartest thing to do considering the circumstances.
Whoever was with Shacklebolt lowered their wand a bit. I was able to make out a witch with pink spiky hair. She was wearing Auror robes, just like Shacklebolt. I raised an eyebrow, she certainly didn’t look like what I expected the average Ministry employee to look like.
“What’s your name?” she asked Fred.
“One of them, yeah.”
“What happened to you?” Shacklebolt asked, looking at the cuts on Fred’s face and the splint on his ankle.
“Er…fell,” Fred answered sheepishly.
“Fell?” the witch said skeptically.
“Shouldn’t you be worrying about that?” I asked, gesturing up at the Dark Mark still floating in the air. “That seems much more pressing for a pair of Aurors.”
“There are several Ministry employees looking into it.”
“What about the Death Eaters?”
“Being taken care of. Why are you out here?” Relentless Aurors, aren’t they?
“I was walking around –”
“In the dark?”
“Yes,” I answered annoyed. “There’s no rule against it.”
“I drifted asleep, woke up when the screams started. Headed towards the camp site but there was a steep hill and people were running down it already. I saw Fred on the ground and pulled him out of the path of other people.”
“You never made it to the campsite?” Shacklebolt asked.
“I just told you what happened, so no, I did not make it back.” Seriously, hadn’t I just explained this?
“How did you know there were Death Eaters then?” Well damn, he was good at his job.
“I told her,” Fred lied. “She asked what was happening and I told her.” Apparently Shacklebolt believed this because he moved on.
“How did you get the splint?”
“Er…” Fred obviously didn’t want to get me in trouble, but he also had enough sense not to lie to a pair of Aurors too many times.
“I did it.” Fred looked at me surprised. “Considering the circumstances I felt it would be justified. I’m perfectly willing to tell the Under Age Magic Department that if need be.”
Shacklebolt eyed me for a minute before pulling out his note book. “What spells did you use?”
“Lumos, Episkey, a couple Aguamenti Charms and the splint. Also spawned a wash cloth. And healed a few cuts. That’s it.” It sounded like a lot of spells when I started naming them off. I was sure I could make a case that they were all necessary.
“We’ll take care of it then,” Shacklebolt said after writing them down.
“You sure your boss will allow that?” I asked doubtfully.
“We’ll handle it,” he said firmly. Shacklebolt’s partner had been watching me closely for a while now and it was getting a bit annoying to ignore.
“Your friend have a name?” I asked Shacklebolt. He looked up and glanced at the witch.
“Tonks?” I repeated, surprised.
“There a problem with that?” Tonks asked with an edge in her voice.
“No,” I answered after a moment.
“Either of you have any information about tonight’s events?” Though Shacklebolt asked both of us, I could tell the question was directed at me more than Fred.
“No,” Fred answered first, sounding confused.
“Nothing either of us could prove,” I said cryptically.
“Yeah, I figured as much,” Shacklebolt responded, understanding my answer. “Sending up the Dark Mark seems to have caused some panic throughout the ranks.”
“Huh?” Fred questioned.
“All the Death Eaters apparated once they saw it,” Tonks explained.
“Hardly surprising,” I commented in a bored voice.
Before Tonks could respond, Shacklebolt spoke again. “You should head back to your tent. I’m sure Arthur is worried about you,” he told Fred.
“Yeah, I reckon so,” Fred answered, shifting his focus between Tonks and me.
“You can make it back alright?” Tonks asked, making me roll my eyes.
“I’m sure you can check with Mr. Weasley later to be sure. You know where I’ll be if there’s any issues,” I said annoyed.
“Try and limit the midnight walks,” Shacklebolt advised.
“I’ll keep that in mind,” I answered as Fred and I walked past the two Aurors.
We kept walking towards the campsite quietly before Fred’s curiosity got the better of him.
“Those Aurors knew you.”
“I’ve met Shacklebolt before.”
“The witch, Tonks, not exactly what I pictured an Auror to look like.” With her bright pink spiky hair, I had to agree. “You two seemed to know each other, well names at least.”
“She’s my cousin,” I informed him.
“Cousin?” he asked, surprised.
“My mother and hers, along with Narcissa are all sisters. Tonks’s mother was disowned for marrying a muggleborn. I’ve never met them before.”
“Disowning seems to be a trend in your family,” Fred said frowning.
“Always a good sign if you get kicked out by the pureblood nutters.”
“Mum probably thought about disowning me and George after the O.W.L.s,” Fred said after a laugh.
“How’d you do?” I asked, thankful to change the topic.
“Eh, alright. Enough that I won’t have to repeat the year.”
“Nothing wrong with that. Class isn’t the only place to learn.”
“You should tell that to mum, she reckons we should go into the Ministry like dad and Percy.”
“The Ministry? Definitely pass on that.”
“My thoughts exactly.”
The campsite came into view now. Fred and I stopped to look at the damage. People were everywhere, some talking to what appeared to be Ministry officials, others were pointing and looking up at the Dark Mark while whispering to other wizards.
“Seems a bit foolish, attacking muggles with this many Ministry officials around,” Fred said thoughtfully.
“Well Death Eaters aren’t exactly known for wise choices, mix that with alcohol and this is what happens.” I looked around for any sign of Fred’s family. “Which way is your tent?” I finally asked him.
“Oh, up by the woods,” Fred answered, nodding his head in the correct direction. We started walking that way, passing several groups of people. “How did you know they were Death Eaters?” Fred asked quietly so no one would overhear us.
I could have lied, probably should have lied, he deserved the truth though. He did lie to a pair of Aurors for me. “You told me when I told you to think about them.”
“You read my mind?” Fred asked sounding confused.
“The mind isn’t a book. You can’t just open it up and read it.” Wow that sounded far too much like Snape’s tone. “You were thinking of it, I was able to see scattered portions because your mind was open. I suppose it’s a bit like mind reading, just not a fluid, continuing story.”
“Er…right.” Now Fred sounded more confused.
“You don’t have one solid memory of your life. There are bits and pieces that make up your collective memories. I can’t look in your eyes and know, say, what you had for dinner last night. If you’re thinking about it though, then I can see parts of it.”
“Oh, that makes more sense. Can you tell if I’m lying then?”
“I try not to use it normally –”
“I already have my own memories filling up my head. Don’t really need any more. But yes, you can usually tell when people are lying. Unless they know Occlumency.”
“Learning to block your mind. Say you were telling me you had chicken last night –”
“I did have chicken last night.”
“Fine, if you said you had ham pies –”
“I had that too.”
“That’s not really the point. And how are you not fat?”
Fred laughed causing several people to glare at us suspiciously. “I’m really looking forward to our late night and early morning talks,” he said wrapping his arm around me. “Continue on with the lesson though, Professor Lestrange.”
“Let’s pretend I was saying I had steak last night, then what?”
“Sure you didn’t have that too?” I asked sarcastically, making him grin. “If you said you were having steak and I looked in your mind and saw that you were having chicken, I’d know you were lying. If you thought about yourself having steak though, even if it’s a lie, I wouldn’t be able to tell.”
“So that’s Occlumency?”
“A very simplified partial explanation. It does help you lie better, but emotions are tied to our memories. If you learn how to control those it becomes easier. You sort of learn how to make a mental shield around your thoughts.”
“You know, there were a few times I could have sworn Snape could read my mind, well know I was lying I guess.”
“Probably.” I couldn’t exactly say, ‘yeah, he’s definitely using it,’ could I? “Try not to focus on the fact that you’re lying. Believe that you’re innocent, that should help some,” I told him. “Why are you trying to lie to Snape?” I asked as an afterthought.
“You know, usual things, dung bombs and fireworks, making a toilet blow up on Flint,” Fred answered casually. I shook my head, smirking about what passed as ‘usual things’ for the Weasley twins. “Well at least that got you smiling again,” Fred said proudly.
“How’s your ankle?” I asked, changing the subject.
“Hmm…pretty good. I imagine it would feel better once you kiss it.”
“Yeah, you just keep waiting for that kiss,” I muttered, blushing a bit.
“Always,” he replied. “Ah, here we are.” We had reached the last couple of tents near the woods now. I was a bit disappointed about it to be honest. “We could always take another lap around,” Fred offered.
“They’ll be worried about you and your ankle needs some rest.” Suddenly two weeks before seeing Fred again felt like a long time.
“Always the responsible one, aren’t you?” Fred lamented while pulling me inside the tent.
“Fred!” one of the older Weasleys exclaimed. The rest of his family along with Hermione and Potter turned towards us. I felt a bit awkward with all the attention.
“I hope no one missed me too much. Considering half of you are sitting down I’ll assume you didn’t,” Fred greeted sarcastically.
“Are you alright?” Mr. Weasley asked, sounding worried.
“Oh I’m sure he’s doing swell, aren’t you mate?” George said from one of the tables, wearing a huge grin.
“Oi, I’ve made friends with a pair of Aurors tonight, I could get them to deal with you,” Fred shot back.
“Aurors?!” Mr. Weasley asked a bit shocked.
“No worries dad, me and Jade had a charming chat with Shacklebolt and Tonks.”
Mr. Weasley’s attention quickly shifted to me. “Jade? Jade Lestrange, wasn’t it?” From his tone I knew he, like so many others, was thinking about my parents.
“What happened to your ankle?” Ginny asked her brother.
“Er…well had a bit of an issue, being walked on tends to lead to injuries,” Fred said dismissively.
“Are you alright?” Mr. Weasley asked again.
“Yeah, Jade healed me up,” Fred said, patting my back. I noticed George’s grin get bigger.
“You’re not allowed to use magic outside of school,” Percy said sounding as though he disapproved, which considering Percy, he probably did. All the bureaucratic rules in the Ministry probably delighted him.
“There are rules that say you can use magic in an emergency,” one of the older brothers said.
“Charlie’s right,” Mr. Weasley agreed. “I’ll talk to someone in the Under Age Magic Department so they understand the situation.”
“Er…thanks,” I muttered, surprised by Mr. Weasley’s offer.
“That Auror, Shacklebolt, said he would handle it too,” Fred told his father.
“Right, well with both of us it shouldn’t be an issue.” Mr. Weasley walked over and stuck out his hand. “Thank you for taking care of Fred,” he said sincerely.
“No problem,” I mumbled while shaking his hand. “I should probably go.”
“Er…” Mr. Weasley looked back at his older sons, “Do you need someone to walk you back this late at night? Bill perhaps…” he drifted off.
“Er…might be better if I go alone,” I said awkwardly. Pretty sure showing up with a Weasley would not make Lucius happy.
“Are you sure?” Bill asked.
“Yeah, it’s not far. I’ll be fine.” Mr. Weasley was obviously thinking of the same issue I was because he nodded and thanked me again.
“See you on the train.” George called out while Fred sent me a discreet wink.
“Bye,” I muttered, leaving the tent.
I really wish Hogwarts started tomorrow.
A/N: I apologize if my explanation of Legilimency & Occulumency were way off, this is just how I understood it, and Jade does say it's a very simple explanation. I'm sure it's much harder than I made it sound.
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