Chapter 3 : Revelations
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Sorry for the long hiatus, but here it is finally! Thank you so much for everyone who's been verry patient on this story. Hope you like it!
“You’re bloody joking,” muttered Ron, looking awestruck.
The four of them looked at each other, all at a loss for words. Surely this must be some cruel joke? It didn’t seem likely that her mother had had a sister. She only knew of uncles Gideon and Fabian; the twins.
Ginny ignored her brother and stared at her father accusingly, “Mum would’ve have mentioned her; both of you would have mentioned her.”
“Your mother and I never intentionally wanted to lie to you and your brothers, Ginny,” began Mr. Weasley seriously. “But you need to understand the circumstances. You know how your mother is; couldn’t get out the name of her brothers for a few years without her completely falling about in tears. Could you imagine what it did to her to mention her baby sister?”
“So you’re telling us,” Said Ron indignantly, “that you refused to mention our aunt’s name for fear of mum going bonkers?”
“Ron!” scolded Hermione for Ron’s lack of tact.
Mr. Weasley looked sternly at his son, “Watch how you talk about your mother, Ron.”
Ron however wasn’t looking anywhere near guilty; instead he turned to share his look of complete outrage with Harry, who only shrugged his shoulders in response.
“You’re mother, she got sick. There were complications that had to be considered.” Mr. Weasley rubbed a hand against his face.
“What kind of complications?” asked Ginny.
“I was pregnant.”
Everyone turned to look at Mrs. Weasley standing by the doorway. She had a handkerchief in her hand, wiping her eyes. She looked so tired and it was impossible to miss the fact that she had been crying. Her eyes were wet and blotchy; her nose red. If no one wanted to understand Mr. Weasley before, why it was that they couldn’t gather the courage to talk about Aliana in the Burrow, was probably seen now in the face of Mrs. Weasley. Her face, always so kind and gentle, now looked like a broken hearted child who had just been told that Father Christmas wouldn’t be coming over anymore. Her expression was beyond heartbreak and it tore through Ginny’s heart like a knife. Mr. Weasley stood to join her, looking very worried.
“I’m fine Arthur,” began Mrs. Weasley, giving him a watery smile. However the smile didn’t reach her eyes and another tear had escaped from the corner of her eye. She hastily wiped it away and took a seat at the table.
“Aliana was my sister,” repeated Mrs. Weasley quietly. “She was the youngest and the most loved. Gideon and Fabian were ever so protective of her. Especially when—well I’m sure you’ll know after reading that.” She gave a disapproving look to the journal lying on the table in front of Ginny.
Ginny and the others had not so much as moved during this revelation. How could her parents not have told her; told them. They just sat there staring at the journal as if they had not just lied to them their whole life. Ginny turned to look at her brother and saw that he too had an incredulous look on his face.
“Are we to understand,” Began Ron disbelievingly, “that you’ve forgotten to mention your dead sister to us and all you’ve got to say is that we’ll find out more after reading her journal?”
“Ron!” scolded Hermione, “Be more sensitive—,”
“Sensitive? They’ve kept this quiet!”
“But you could at least try and understand—,”
“It’s ok dear,” said Mrs. Weasley calmly to Hermione. “It would have been stupid of me to expect a light reaction, of course. I’m just so sorry you had to find out so late. She would never have forgiven me.”
Mrs. Weasley wiped at her eyes again. “It just got so hard, you see. I was pregnant with you Ron, when she died—a far way along to be exact. So when she…when she died…the news was too much for someone in my condition to handle, so I had to be taken to St. Mungo’s for a few weeks.” Her voice was thick as she continued, staring down at her hands as she spoke, “Just…just the mere mention of her name would get me in a state, and once everyone realized that, they tried not speaking about her around me. Then all together it stopped. My sister would become forgotten. ”
Mrs. Weasley’s voice trembled and she hung her head, eyes furrowed as she remembered the events that happened almost eighteen years ago. It was easy to see that she was ashamed of her reaction, but her children understood her as did Harry and Hermione. Wasn’t this how everyone had felt? How they felt now? Talking about Fred was still not easy, discussing Sirius and Mad Eye was still hard on them all. When visiting Teddy, the mention of Tonks or Remus still brought a choking feeling because their boy would have to grow up without them.
Ginny reached out a hand to her mother and gripped it tightly. “It’s ok you don’t have to explain anymore. I think we’ve gathered that over the years it may have gotten difficult to get off that wagon.”
“It did,” sighed Mrs. Weasley. “We wanted to talk about her—well you’re father tried anyway.” She smiled fondly at her husband. “But it was so hard for me. It still is. Heavens knows the only reason I can speak about her right now is because you lot caught me by surprise. I suppose it needed to happen.”
Ron nearly choked as he was sipping his water, “You suppose?” he gaped indignantly, trying to pat water off his jumper. “It’s only been eighteen years!”
“Ron, mate, keep it down a decibel.” said Harry finally, speaking for the first time. He rolled his eyes at his friend’s indignant expression and turned instead to Mr. and Mrs. Weasley.
“Was she with Sirius after Hogwarts? I don’t reckon they could’ve met during, seeing as she was younger…?”
He trailed off uncertainly as Mr. Weasley’s face seemed to tell him otherwise. Mrs. Weasley shook her head sadly, smiling slightly at him.
“Not at all dear, they went to school with each other actually. But as I said before, maybe it should be better if you lot found out by yourselves. Wouldn’t be surprised if she did put some charms on it though. For protection purposes, of course. Talented girl she was, but that temper.”
“I stripped the journal, there wasn’t anything on it,” said Ginny.
“You searched for curses, darling.” clarified her mother. “Knowing Aliana, there’s more waiting for you once you begin reading. She had a flare for dramatics that one did.”
And with that thought, she got up to prepare them some tea.
Ginny, Harry, Hermione and Ron arrived at Grimmauld Place an hour later, careful as always to not make any noise lest they wake the portrait of Walburga Black.
“So,” began Ron immediately, taking off his coat and setting it on the hanger besides the door. Harry, Hermione and Ginny followed his lead. “Mad isn’t it? Ginny finds a journal and all of a sudden we have an aunt that we never knew.”
Hermione rubbed her eyes in exhaustion, “I imagine it must’ve not been easy—fearing the name of a loved one for fear of it affecting another. I can’t even think of what they must’ve gone through.”
“Makes sense though doesn’t it?” thought Harry aloud. “I mean I’ve all but heard your mum speak about your uncles maybe twice. Imagine being the only survivor of your siblings?”
“I wish she would have told us though,” said Ginny opening the journal. “I wouldn’t appreciate it if my family suddenly stopped talking about me as if I didn’t exist. Anyway, how about we finally start reading? I’ve been dying to know which charms mum was talking about.”
They settled themselves in Sirius’s old office, Ron and Hermione taking a seat on the couch to the left of the desk where Ginny had found the journal, while Ginny took the chair of the desk sitting opposite Harry.
She flipped through the pages, finally stopping at the first entry of September 1st 1975.
The ride from King’s Cross could’ve been better—,”
Just as she was beginning to read however, the air around the room began to change. Clouds of smoke appeared out of nowhere and were slowly surrounding them in an eerie glow. In an instant, all four of them stood and had their wands out, the boys reflexively reaching their free arm behind them ready to fight and protect.
“I thought you said you stripped the journal Ginny,” said Harry tightly, his eyes flashing dangerously all around him, taking in his surroundings of the office.
“I did,” snapped Ginny hotly, refusing to be the blame for this. “There wasn’t any dark magic in it.” The fog was quickly becoming thicker and a low animal like growl sounded from across the room, next to the bookshelf.
“What was that?” asked Ron warily. He took a step closer to Hermione, bumping into her as he did.
“Honestly, Ron I’ll be fine.” snapped Hermione testily. She raised her wand higher, muttering a spell as she did and the fog faintly dispersed around them in time to see a medium sized, Irish terrier growling at them, preparing to attack. The dog, however, wasn’t exactly…solid. Harry remembered the image of Bertha Jerkins when she came out of the pensive in his fourth year at Hogwarts, that day in Dumbledore’s office—silvery like a memory, but solid enough to make out the form and color, which in the case of the Irish terrier was a dark golden red--brightened because of the light surrounding its figure.
It was Ginny who understood what was happening. This could only be the charms her mother had been talking about. She had an idea, more or less, of what to do. From under the desk, she grabbed the journal where it had fallen and continued reading from where they had been cut off.
“Dear Journal,” she reapted loudly, causing the dog to give an indignant bark. Harry, Ron and Hermione looked nervously at each other waiting to see what Ginny was up to.
“The ride from King’s Cross could’ve been better, mind. Of course stupid Black just had to make an appearance—,”
There was an outraged snarl followed by angry barking, that immediately cut off and replaced itself with an unknown voice.
“It’s almost as if you want me to bite your head off,”
Harry, Ron, Ginny and Hermione froze. As the fog vanished it slowly revealed the glowing form of a teenage girl, hands on her hips, looking crossly at her intruders. The shimmering figure of Aliana Prewett.
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