AN: Obviously I do not own any of the original characters or places from the Harry Potter world. All OC characters are my own.
I have changed some of the story from the Deathly Hallows.
Please R&R :)
The rain was coming down hard against the dark streets as thunder and lightening roared across the sky, making the heavy drops glisten in the air.
Ailie ran as fast as her legs could carry her through Knockturn Alley, not really knowing where to go. Her flats clicked against the cobblestone and her heavy breathing and heartbeat pounding in her ears were the only things louder than the storm as she hurried through the alley.
She could hear voices shouting from a distance and she turned at a corner of one of the shops. Her throat was sore and she could taste blood as she gave it her all to run up the sloping street.
Please, let me get away. Anyone, please!
She hurried up some stairs and recognized the streets of Diagon Alley. Her white, linnen nightgown was plastered against her skin from all the rain and her small backpack slammed against her back with every step she took.
In the distance, she could see a light on above one of the shops. She was close to giving up, but the hope of reaching it gave her a last power of strength. She didn't look back once as she hurried towards the shop.
As the lightening struck again, she saw the colourful sign of Weasley's Wizard Wheezes and just as she thought her legs couldn't carry her anymore, she reached the door.
She pounded against the door as hard as she could.
"Please, someone, let me in!" she shouted, her scottish accent the only part of her still sharp and firm. She quickly looked behind her to see if they had caught up with her. She couldn't see anyone in the darkness, but still, her heart was pounding through her chest, it's thumping echoing through her skull. She pounded again, feeling her panic rise and tears finally escape her eyes.
Again, she heard the voices shouting in the distance. They were closing in on her.
Like a sign from above, a light was turned on in the shop and she saw a dark siluette approach the door. She couldn't help letting out a slight laugh of joy and relief as she heard the lock turn and the door open with a slight creek.
The distant shouting shook her out of her relieved haze and she swallowed hard. The door opened and a young man with ginger hair and a green pyjamas stood there, staring at her with a suspicious look on his face, his wand held high, being his source of light.
"Please, I'm being chased" she interruped before he could finish his sentence. He peeked out from behind the door and looked down the street. She turned her head to the same direction as panic struck her again. Far down the street, she could see a group of cloked people spread out, searching for her. That seemed to be enough for the young man to grab her by the arm and pull her inside. He closed the door and quickly locked it. He placed a finger against his lips to show her to be quiet.
"Nox" he whispered and the light from his wand went out. She swallowed hard. It was so quiet she could hear the dripping from her wet gown hit the floor.
She was completely blind in the dark, but she could feel his protective hand on her shoulder. He was a complete stranger to her and yet she felt safe in his prescence.
Ailie could tell he was tensed up, probably ready to fight if the Deatheaters would find them. They could hear the shouting get closer.
"She couldn't have gone far, check the alleyways!" a deep voice ordered and the sound of boots clicking as they ran down the cobblestone street got louder for a moment, before they faded. They had passed the shop.
Ailie and the man waited, silent in the dark for a few moments before she felt him move and leave her in the corner as he approached the window to see if they were gone.
"It's clear" he said before he uttered the spell Lumos and his wand lit up with a blueish, white light. He approached her again. She sat far back in the corner, her arms wrapped around her knees where her chin rested.
Her dark hair was plastered against her face and shoulders, her lips slightly blue and her skin pale and damp.
He kneeled before her and placed his hand on hers. It was warm, the skin of his palm slightly rough, but his thumb was soft and stroke the back of her hand gently.
"You're safe now" he said softly and she looked up at him. Her light, ash-gray eyes met his deep golden brown ones. He looked concerend and slightly confused, but he had thin lines at the outer corner of his eyes and she remembered her mother had told her they were laugh-lines and a sign of kindness.
"T-thank you" she whispered, still panting slightly. Her heart was slowly returning to it's normal rythm. "You just saved my life"
He wrapped his fingers around her hand and helped her to her feet.
"Let's find you some dry clothes" he said and led her to the back of the shop and up some stairs.
They entered a small hallway leading to a livingroom of an appartment. She looked around. There was a fireplace, a three seated couch in green with a tartan pattern in dark blue, a small coffee table and a rug. Straight ahead was another small hallway, leading to the bedrooms and bathroom and to the right was an archway leading to the kitchen. The walls had a plum tone with some sort of pattern in them just a tad bit lighter in colour.
"What's your name?" the man asked as he led her to the couch. She cleared her throat and sat down.
"Ailie Mackay" she said and looked up at him. "And you?"
He smiled and flicked his wand, making some clothes appear.
"I'm Fred Weasley" he said and handed her a marine blue t-shirt and a pair of grey sweatpants. At that very moment, another young man entered the room, identical to Fred, appart from a missing ear and eyes more puppy-dog like compared to Fred's sharp ones.
"What's all the ruckus about?" the young man asked with a yawn and rubbed his eyes with his knuckles.
"And that is my twin, George" Fred explained. "We own the shop downstairs"
Ailie nodded and gave George a small smile.
"Thank you, both of you" she said and Fred turned to his twin.
"Don't just stand there, get the girl a towel"
George rolled his eyes and went back the way he came. Fred turned back to Ailie. "Are you hurt?" he asked as he scanned her with his eyes, looking for visible bruises. She shook her head.
"No, I don't think so"
He let out a sigh of relief and nodded softly. There was a moment of silence before he spoke again.
"So, Ailie, what crime did a pretty, scottish girl, like yourself commit to get chased down Diagon Alley in her nightie during a thunderstorm by Deatheaters in the middle of the night?"
He smirked at her and it made her chuckle.
"It's a very long story" she told him. He nodded, still smirking.
"Well, a long story needs a large cup of cocoa" he said and winked at her. George returned and handed her the towel.
"Here ya go" he said and she gave him a smile. "And did I hear we're having cocoa?"
She couldn't help but chuckle. They managed to lighten her mood and make her feel warm and safe, even though they didn't know her at all.
"Get yourself dry and we'll be back shortly" Fred told her and dragged his twin along with him towards the kitchen.
Ailie shook her head to herself as she dried herself before changing into the clothes they borrowed her. She opened her backpack and reached for a pair of socks before she got her wand and shrunk the clothes a bit. She dried her hair and combed it through with her fingers.
The twins soon returned with a tray of large mugs and cinnamon buns levitating through the air. The scent of sweet, hot chocolate and warm cinnamon filled her with a warmth she had missed for years. The warmth of home.
"So" Fred began and handed her one of the large mugs. "What happened?"
She took a sip of the hot beverage topped with whipped cream and tiny, colourful marshmallows. She set the mug down on the table before she began the story.
"My father was a Slytherin and a Deatheater, convinced that mudbloods and squibs would ruin the Wizarding world. Deprive it of magic and turn it into the world of muggles..." she began and swallowed. Both twins were listening eagerly. "Well, one day he fell in love with a girl who worked at one of the coffee shops here in Diagon Alley. Her parents were purebloods and they were happy together, until he found out she was a squib, unable to perform any sort of magic. He had to make a choice and it was hard for him, but in the end he chose love and a year later I was born..." she paused and took another sip of her cocoa. "You-Know-Who wouldn't accept that a wizard turned him down, and absolutely not because of a squib, so he sent the Deatheaters to find my father. When I was four, my dad disappeared and we thought the Deatheaters had caught him. Mum and I moved away from Alford, where I was born and figured we'd be safer in another town, well, six years later there was a knock on our door. It was the Deatheaters demanding my mother to tell them the whereabouts of my dad. This came a shock to both of us and we told them we didn't know. They didn't believe us and they took my mother. For six years I lived at an orphanage and all I know is that You-Know-Who figured my father would come if he knew they had my mum... torturing her. She died when I was thirteen and then they went after me. I managed to get away, moving from orphanage to orphanage until I was seventeen..."
"Wow" George gasped and both twins stared at her. "How did you manage to get away?"
"Well, I didn't... Almost a year ago they caught me and kept me in a dungeon... they figured my father would finally turn himself in if he knew I was captured. He didn't and the longer I stayed the angrier they got... They..."
Ailie paused and swallowed as tears began to well up in her eyes. Fred moved closer and wrapped his arm around her shoulders.
"You don't have to tell us" he said quietly. "... But if you're on the run and need shelter, you can stay here for as long as you need or until it's not safe here anymore"
George nodded in agreement. Ailie sniffled and wiped her tears away.
"It's okay I just... A few days ago, they were supposed to have killed me... However, You-Know-Who decided that I could be of use. It had something to do with what they called horcruxes and that Harry Potter had found them out..."
She caught the twins sharing a look between them at this.
"How could you be of use for that?" George asked. Ailie swallowed and let out a sigh.
"You-Know-Who... Voldemort... wanted to put one in me. He wanted to impregnate me and use the fetus as a horcrux so that if Harry would kill him, there would be a part of his soul left in me and he would be reborn..."
She had never talked so fast in her entire life, just wanting to get it out and be done with it. She bit her bottom lip.
"I feel so disgusting..."
The twins looked unsure of what to say, but finally Fred spoke.
"Are you... I mean, did he..."
She shook her head.
"No... I packed whatever belongings I had. It took me a couple of days to find them all, since they'd stolen them from me, and then tonight I ran..."
"So that's why they're chasing you..." Fred muttered, more to himself than to her. She nodded.
"Well we're not gonna let them, are we Fred" George said with a confident smile towards his brother, causing Fred to smile to.
"Right you are, Georgie"
Ailie looked from Fred to George and back, smiling. It had been too long she had felt cared about and safe. She had missed it so much and she had once again found it by a miracle.
Fred had insisted she'd sleep in his bed and he on the couch. She had protested, but he had stood his ground and eventually she had given in, thanking him for all the help. He had waved it away and told her good night.
As she lay beneath the sheets and a warm, crochet blanket with a beautiful flower patchwork in green, red and yellow, she thought of her mother.
While she had been at the orphanages, she had learned not to miss her mother, for her own sanity's sake, but it came back to her as she lay there, hearing the rain patter against the window.
Her mother had been beautiful; young but mature and she had sung to her every night after her father left. Ailie could still remember her mother's face in the dim yellow light next to her bed. Her hazel eyes sparkling, her soft smile and slightly crooked teeth. Her hair had been long and curly, not at all straight as Ailie's, but the same chocolate brown colour.
She had tucked her in and turned on her fairy shadow-light that made the silouettes of fairies and flowers dance around her room.
Now we close our eyes and pray
Danger will stay far away
We ask our kinsmen to obey
Be with us and do not stray
Evil may not enter here
In this home we'll have no fear
We beg the monsters: stay out there
Sleep tight, Ailie, my dear
Her head was spinning with memories, good ones, of her mother and her childhood in Scotland, but also bad ones, trapped inside some Deatheater's dungeon. If she closed her eyes she could still smell the damp, moldy stone walls, feel the thin mattress on the floor, the sound of rats and dripping water. She was afraid to fall asleep because of those memories.
Ailie let out a heavy sigh and looked around the room. Through the dark she could make out a wardrobe and next to it a small dresser with some framed photographs on it, a small desk and a chair. Appart from that, there was just the bed and nightstand and a large window. Cozy, homey... safe.
In a way she regretted telling the twins so much. Afterall, they were strangers and could very well turn her in, but there was something about them that made her feel she could trust them. She recognized the name Weasley, but she couldn't pin point from where. She had only gone to Hogwarts for her final year since her mother had thought it wasn't safe for her to travel back and forth and instead she had been taught about magic at home. Quite impressive, not being able to use magic herself.
She had been contacted by Albus Dumbledore on her seventeenth birthday, where he had asked her if she'd like to attent the school to get her grades and she had quickly accepted and been placed in Hufflepuff on her first day.
Another part of Ailie regretted not telling the twins everything, but there were things, moments of one's life you just didn't spill to a stranger. Things you'd rather just forget yourself, but that would never leave you.
She had been through horrible things in that dungeon. Torture so many could never understand and each and every time they'd be branded into your mind where they would stay. Old scars, perhaps fading with time, but never completely gone.
She reached for the charm around her neck and twirled it between her fingers. The silver tear hanging from a thin chain had once been her mother's and Ailie had been told that whenever sorrow or sadness would overpower her to leave those emotions within the charm and to be strong. It had been how she had coped after her husband's disappearance and she had given it to Ailie on her 10th birthday.
Still with her fingers wrapped around the silver tear, Ailie drifted to sleep.
George was already in the kitchen making french toast when Fred got up. The sweet smell of that along with freshly brewed coffee was energizing to him and he stretched out his limbs in the doorframe, yawning a good morning.
"Morning" George greeted and plated up some of the toast. "Sleep alright?"
Fred walked over to the kitchen table and sat down, flicking his wand to make a cup of steaming, hot coffee soar through the air and land gently in front of him. The early morning air made tiny goosebumps spread across his skin and he shuddered before he took a large gulp of the dark beverage.
"I couldn't help but think about what way would be the best to help the girl" Fred said and watched George set a plate down with a pile of toast infront of him, before moving back towards the stove. It was the only thing he preffered to do the muggle way – cooking.
"Well" George began with a shrug as he fried some more toast. "I know you love being the Prince Charming, but we really don't know this girl. She might be a spy or even a Deatheater herself..."
He turned around and looked at his brother.
"Or she is telling the truth and has been through some horrid things" Fred said. "And if so we can't just abandon her, there's a war going on out there"
George let out a heavy sigh, biting his lip as he considered both possibilities.
At that moment, Ailie entered the kitchen shyly, still dressed in the borrowed clothing but with her hair up in a messy bun.
"I would doubt my story too" she said and the twins swallowed, nervous she might have been offended. "I mean it's not like strangers seek refuge in the middle of the night on a daily basis around here I presume. If you feel the need to I could drink some Veritaserum..."
George quickly shook his head.
"I didn't mean it like that" he said. "If you were some crazy bird working for Ol' Voldie, you'd probably have murdered us in our sleep. I just find it hard to trust strangers nowadays"
Ailie nodded, understanding him completely. She didn't seem hurt or affended at all, quite the opposite. She sat down diagonally from Fred and reached for his cup of coffee, taking a sip from it before setting it back on the table in front of him, the shy girl transformed into a confident creature within seconds. Fred's eyes followed her movements before they landed on her face. There was something about her that amazed him and at the same time he was confused and unsure about what to think of her.
"Acceptable?" he asked with a smirk and she gave him a smile.
"Fit for a king" she said and turned her eyes back to Fred, winking at him. "You're not a germophobe are you?"
He just shook his head and soon a smile spread across his face.
"Already more confident I see" he said and took another sip of his coffee. George set a plate with toast down infront of Ailie before grabbing one for himself, sitting down next to her, opposite his brother. Ailie thanked George and then shrugged, turning her attention back to Fred.
"To be honest I haven't felt so confident the past few years, but after meeting you boys, I feel like I can dare to hope again"
"Hope for what exactly?" George asked with his moth full of toast.
"Safety... Kindness... That there are still people in this world I don't have to fear" Ailie said and took a bite of her slice of toast. It was heavenly. She couldn't remember the last time she'd had french toast. "This is so good"
The twins chuckled and Fred shook his head, still with a wide smile on his face.
"You're one special girl"
"Why, thank you" she said and giggled. The feeling of laughing, smiling, it was something she'd almost forgotten, but ever since Fred saved her, it was all around her and she loved that feeling of worry and sadness being washed away.
They ate in silence for a while, before Ailie spoke again, clearing her throat before uttering a word.
"Could I ask you for another favour?" she asked, her eyes on Fred. He glanced over at George for a second before he looked back at her with a shrug.
"Sure, what can I do for you, miss Mackay?"
He smirked and rubbed the crumbs off his hands, before he leaned back, arms folded across his chest. She studied him for a moment before speaking again.
"I'd like to visit my appartment... if you could call it that. Where I lived before the Deatheaters got me. Hopefully it's been untouched and I could find some of my things..."
She gave him a pleading look and he seemed to be unsure weither it was a good idea or not. "I don't feel safe going there on my own. It won't take long"
He sucked on his bottom lip as he thought about it and she was almost certain he'd say no, but to her surprise he nodded.
"Alright, can you apparate?" he asked. She nodded. "Good then, let's go"
As he got up George raised his eyebrows.
"I guess I'll open up the shop then" he said, sounding as if he was defeated.
Ailie smiled at him and leaned in, giving him a quick peck on the cheek.
"Thank you, George" she said and got up. He stared at her in surprise and his fingers went to touch where she'd kissed him. Fred looked equally surprised, his mouth open and stared at her as she approached him in the doorway.
She patted him on the shoulder.
"Don't look so jealous. I'll be ready in five" she said and walked past him to get ready for their trip.