"Bill Weasley!" Lia shouted as she chased him, "Give me back my quill. NOW!"
"Aw, come on Lia. You need a break from all the work you do." Bill urged Lia and glanced over at Maddie. "You and Maddie need to get out more. It's a Hogsmeade weekend. Let's go get a Butterbeer."
Maddie sighed and looked resigned. "Sure," she said. Charlie and Bill gave each other high fives in the air. Lia looked at her as if she was crazy.
"I'm not going anywhere," Lia declared. "What if something happens? I would want to know right away. I don't need Professor Dumbledore having to wait until I come back."
Maddie looked at her and said, "Lia, I know you're worried, but you do have to get out more. If you go to Hogsmeade today, and nothing goes wrong while your there, you're going to have to come more often. If something does go wrong..." Maddie trailed off, unable to finish her thought. There was an awkward silence.
Finally, Lia sighed in defeat. "Ok, lets go get that Butterbeer."
As the four friends started to leave, Professor McGonagall came up to them with a somber look in her eyes. Lia felt sick and she clutched to Bill's arm.
"Ms. Potter, Ms. Dumbledore," the Professor started, "the Headmaster wishes to see you." She looked at the two Weasley boys. "You may accompany the girls if they wish. The password is Sugar Quills." She then turned around and left.
Lia broke into a run to get to the headmaster's office. The other three were having a tough time keeping up with her. As she reached the gargoyle, Lia shouted, "Sugar Quills!" and proceeded up the stairs. She threw open the door and flung herself into the room.
"Professor," she gasped, out of breath, "what happened?"
Maddie was next to run into the room, and went straight to Lia's side and placed her arms around her friend. Bill and Charlie placed a comforting hand on Lia's shoulder. Lia was oblivious to it all. She just needed to know that nothing had happened to her family. She looked around the room and noticed that there was someone else there.
"James!" Lia gave a cry and buried her head in her brother's chest. "Did anything happen to Lily or Harry?" She looked up at him, too scared to find out the answer. He shook his head. Lia then understood. No, not them. She thought desperately. "Is it mummy and daddy?" she asked, already knowing the answer. She willed him to shake his head no. But, he didn't.
"I'm sorry Lia. They died in a Death Eater attack outside the Ministry offices today." James looked at his sister sorrowfully, eyes full of pain.
Lia felt her whole world come apart around her. "No," she whispered, "Stop lying to me, James. It's not nice to play a sick joke like this. Will you ever stop being a stupid marauder? No, it's not true... it's not true... it's not true...." This became her mantra, but looking in her brother's eyes, she knew that it was true. As the truth came down on her, she gave an unearthly cry.
James' heart broke seeing his baby sister like this. Her cries pierced the stillness of the room. He knew that she and their parents were very close. It was going to be hard on them all, his parents' death. But Lia was going to feel the magnitude of it more than anyone else. He remembered when she first came into their lives...
An eleven-year-old James Potter was anxiously waiting for his parents to come back.
"Come on James, let's play Quidditch." His best friend Sirius Black suggested.
James shook his head no. Sirius gave a loud sigh and gave James the talk once again. "Look James, they'll be here in a while. And everything will be fine. Your new sister will love you, so you don't have to worry about anything. Her name's Delia, right?" James nodded. The boys got no further in their conversation because Delia and the mister and Mrs. Potter had arrived.
"Boys, I'd like you to meet Delia Potter." Mrs. Potter said proudly. The small 5 year-old clutching her hand stepped forward and said, "Hi, it's nice to meet you." She gave a timid smile. Any doubts James had should have gone out the window by now, thought Sirius.
James stepped forward and said, "Hello, Lia, I'm James. And this is Sirius." He said gesturing to the boy standing next to him. Delia ran into her brother's arms and hugged him like there was no tomorrow.
Sirius' heart warmed at seeing the two. She's perfect, he thought to himself, so full of life.
James came back to the present, leaving memories of one of the best days of his life behind. He wrapped his sister in a tight hug and rocked her back and forth, never letting go, as she had done all those years ago when she first came into his life.
A WEEK LATER
Delia Potter took a deep breath and stepped up behind the podium. She looked around at the crowd of people gathered and then she proceeded to give the most difficult speech of her life.
"Everyone always says that it is a tragedy to have to bury their children. This one thought is what has kept me going this past week. Knowing that my parents were spared this pain gave me the strength to go on this past week.
"As most, if not all of you know, I was adopted by the Potters when I was five. Every night I used to pray to God that one day, someone would come and take me away from the orphanage. That someday, I could call someone Mum and Dad.
"Mummy and Daddy came to take me away when I was five and showed me a world of magic, a world I didn't know existed, as I was born muggle. They love me so much - loved me so much - and I will always be grateful for their love." She faltered a little, her voice cracking. She looked at Harry, her little nephew, and doggedly continued.
"I'll always remember the look they had in their eyes when I first called them 'Mummy' and 'Daddy'. From then on, every problem that I was going through, when times got tough, I'd remember that look and would immediately be comforted. It was a look of pure love. No one ever looked at me like that. No one ever will. It was then that I finally understood the meaning of love.
"My parents were always against the Dark Side. Even when they were in danger, they continued to strongly oppose it. They were brave and courageous and that's how they should be remembered... As the true heroes they are - were.
"Everything I am today, it is because of my parents. They taught me to love, to respect, to cherish... and much more. They brought me into a world where I learned to laugh, to enjoy life, to be strong. Everything I am, I am because of them.
"Daddy and Mummy loved their family and friends very much. It was a pleasure and an honor to know them as well as we all have had the chance of doing so. They especially loved Harry, their first grandchild. I hope Harry will always know of his grandparents' love for him.
"I promise to join the fight against the Dark Side and never let it take over me. I will continue to live. For you as well as for me. I love you with all my heart. And one day, I'll see you again. Goodbye... for now." Delia let the tears flow silently down her cheeks and went to sit next to her brother and his family.
Sirius Black had watched the eulogy. It was delivered last. He had thought that James and Maddie's speeches had brought out all the sadness in him, but Lia's eulogy broke through the haze he had built around himself after learning of the Potters' deaths. It made him cry, this was the first time he had cried for as long as he could remember. When he had heard of the Potters' deaths, he had felt numb, shocked. Now, hearing the eulogy, the dam in him burst and he cried like a child. Next to him, Maddie squeezed his hand, assuring him that it was all right.
Albus Dumbledore got up and said, "There will be a reception at the Potter mansion afterwards." He went over to Maddie and tightly hugged his granddaughter. He then went over to Lia, and she threw herself in the old man's arms and melted into his embrace.
THE NEXT DAY IN THE EVENING:
Maddie and Lia were sitting at the coffee table in the living room. Professor Dumbledore had given Delia permission to take a few weeks off school following her parents' deaths. Maddie had begged her grandfather to let her stay with her best friend. He had agreed in the end, without protest.
In front of them were notes their teachers gave them for the few weeks they were away from class. However, the girls were not thinking about schoolwork. Instead, they were pondering about Severus Snape. The two girls were good friends with the greasy haired potions master. They knew each other since they went to school together. Now, Severus was in his second year of teaching. The girls were probably the only Gryffindors who he was decent to in public. In private, however, he was one of their good friends.
The girls were part of the Order of the Phoenix. They were the youngest members, being only 13 years old. However, they could become skilled witches performing wandless magic, if they receive the proper training. The girls were muggle-born but their raw power left something to be desired.
Because of their friendly relationship, the girls were told all the information Severus gathered as a spy. In return, Maddie, being Dumbledore's granddaughter, had easy access to give her grandfather the information without anyone suspecting. The headmaster always had the girls analyze the information and to give him their thoughts on it. He always claimed that the more the ideas, the better it helped prevent the attacks.
Presently, they were trying to figure out the identity of Voldemort's spy. Snape thought that the spy was close to James and Lily. Very close. The girls were also discussing who the secret keeper for James and Lily was going to be.
"Sirius won't do it," Lia stated with confidence. "He's not stupid. He knows that everyone expects him to be the secret keeper, so he's going to try to use that to his advantage."
Maddie nodded in agreement. "You're right, Lia. But who is going to be the secret keeper?" She had a pensive look on her face. "I know it's not going to be Grandpa. And they're certainly not going to let Remus be it." She looked disgusted at the prospect that anyone could doubt Remus Lupin's loyalty.
"He's not the spy, Lia. I know it." Maddie looked at her best friend with a solemn look in her eyes.
"Oh, and is that your logic speaking or your ever-lasting crush on him?" Lia cracked a smile. Her eyes danced with mischief for the first time in days. "You know, Maddie, why don't you just tell him how you feel?"
Maddie knew that her friend had officially lost it. She was concerned that her parents' deaths might have taken a toll on Lia... but to lose her mind, even she didn't expect that! "Lia, in case you didn't notice, he's graduated school. He's like... what... nineteen? And I'm just a school kid. It's never going to work out. We're too far apart."
"Oh, you never know, Maddie." Lia trailed off suggestively, one eyebrow raised.
Maddie, not liking the conversation, abruptly changed the topic. "So, to get back to the important stuff... You and I won't do it. Can you imagine your brother letting us be the secret keeper for him? I think he'd rather not have one." Maddie smiled at James' over protectiveness at Lia, which had over the years extended to herself.
Lia nodded. "So, that leaves Peter." She paused, thinking. "Well, I guess that is a good choice. No one would ever expect James to trust his forgetful friend with such critical information."
"So, Peter it is." Maddie frowned at her notes on their last meeting with Snape. "So, now, we have to figure out the spy." The two girls were lost in their own thoughts. After a while though, Maddie had had quite enough and needed something to keep her awake.
"I'm going to make some coffee. Want some?" Lia looked up and nodded yes to Maddie.
Sighing, Lia looked around her living room. On the mantel above the fireplace were pictures from over the years. One of the most recent ones was at her parents' anniversary. It was a group picture of James, Lily, Harry, her parents, Maddie, herself, Albus Dumbledore, Sirius and Remus. Everyone was happy and waved at the camera. Her father had his arm around her and was hugging her close.
Tears pooled in her eyes, but she brushed them away. It was no use to swell on the past. She had to figure out who the spy was.
"I miss them, too, Lia." Lia jumped. She hadn't heard Maddie come back in. Maddie handed her a mug of coffee. Lia nodded in understanding at her friend. Maddie walked over and lovingly ran her fingers over the picture. She was looking down intensely at the picture, and soon Lia was anxious as to what her friend found so interesting.
"Oh my God, Lia!" Maddie breathed. "Peter's not here." She turned a sickening shade of white. " He said he was sick... but I remember Severus telling me that there was a Death Eater meeting at that time."
Lia stared at her friend with horror in her hazel eyes. "Maddie, remember when we were in Hogsmeade? We had sneaked out and we saw him. He had clutched his left arm in pain. But he wouldn't let either of us take a look. Severus said later that there was a calling of the Death Eaters." Lia choked out the events of the rendezvous. She truly felt like she was sick. How could Peter do something like this to us? But he had, and to that, Lia had no doubt in her mind.
"Oh God." Maddie looked panicked. "We have to stop Sirius from letting Peter be the secret keeper." She had a wild look in her eyes. "Let's go, Lia. We don't have much time." With that, they two grabbed their brooms. It was charmed so that it and its passenger could not be seen by muggles.
The girls flew to Godric's Hollow. Or at least, what should've been Godric's Hollow. It was nowhere to be seen. "That means the Fidelius charm is in effect. It was performed." Maddie gave a defeated sigh.
"Come on. We have to go tell your grandfather as soon as possible. We can use the floo network at my house." With that Lia took off into the sky, closely followed by Maddie.
When the girls neared Potter Mansion, they saw a group of Death Eaters around the house. Maddie signaled Lia to fly away so that they wouldn't be spotted. But it was too late. One of the Death Eaters spotted them and threw a curse causing them to fall to the ground.
The girls fell to the ground with a sickening thud. "Well, well, well... If it isn't the Potter girl and Dumbledore's precious granddaughter." Lucius Malfoy's drawl taunted the girls.
Lia had gotten up by now and was looking at Malfoy with the utmost loathing in her eyes. "Get off of my property, Malfoy." Lia was failing to keep her temper in check.
Maddie had also gotten up and said in a cool tone, "What do you want, Malfoy? We're of no use to you. Just two kids."
"I beg to differ. The Dark Lord has many uses for you." Lucius advanced on the girls. The other Death Eaters were coming in closer all around the girls.
STUPFY! The girls yelled. They managed to deflect some of the Death Eaters.
"Is that the best you can do? Coming from such high families, I would've expected more." Lucius paused. "Of course, you don't have their blood. You're just a couple of filthy mudbloods."
"Prepare to meet your end with the Dark Lord." Malfoy had a sneer on his face. "Don't worry Potter, you'll thank the Dark Lord for your end... after all, your brother will die soon because his friend betrayed him."
Death Eaters now surrounded the girls and there was no escape. Oh God, we're going to die. Lia had a sick feeling in the pit of her stomach. Then she remembered. She and Maddie had been translating some Ancient texts for Professor Dumbledore. She remembered how they discovered an Ancient spell that banished their enemies, but the consequences were dire.
She saw now that there was no choice, though. If she and Maddie were kidnapped, she knew that Professor Dumbledore would do anything and everything to get them back. And God only knew how James, Sirius and Remus would react. Those three could try to rescue them and die in the process. But James would probably die, anyway. Lia forced herself to keep those thoughts at bay. The only way to get out of this mess was to perform the spell.
She nudged Maddie who had been retorting hotly to another one of Malfoy's taunts. "Maddie, remember the Ancient Banishing Spell? Well, it's our only chance..." Lia watched her friend frown as she was undoubtedly considering the consequences.
"Trying to think of a way to get away?" Malfoy smirked. "It's not going to work anymore, mudbloods. We've got you now."
That was it for Maddie. She nodded her consent to Lia. Together they muttered the ancient spell. Extermino meum inimicum hostem, a mei capio extremo.
There was a white light that surrounded Potter Mansion. No one could see anything except the white. After the light faded, there was no one there, where only a few seconds before, there was a mass of Death Eaters and two girls.
END OF FLASHBACK - PRESENT DAY
Bill and Charlie had kept quiet, as their friends had recounted the most horrible night of their lives. For a while, no one spoke, they were just lying there in each other's arms thinking about the past.
"The spell basically banishes the enemy but in order to do that, you have to go to the 'end'." Maddie explained.
Charlie spoke up tentatively, "But where did you go? The Death Eaters are still here. How come you disappeared?"
Maddie gave a dry laugh. "When we performed the spell, there were about thirty Death Eaters to banish. And we did banish them... but only for a few days... to another dimension. Lia and I, on the other hand, were left in the deep forests of Mongolia. I have no clue what 'end' that is, but that's where we landed."
Delia picked up from there, "I think since we didn't cast the spell in its full power, we didn't really go to the 'end'." She paused for a while. "So, when we landed, we had no idea where we were. We walked for days, weeks... soon it was about 6 months since we disappeared. And we had found no town or anything. We began to lose hope. It was so frustrating. And at nighttime, when there was no light and all those beasts roaming around..." She trailed, shuddering as she remembered.
"But we did make our way to a village. By then, we had been missing for about 7 months. It was a small village, totally illiterate. There was no sign of magic. And we didn't have our wands either. I'm not sure what happened to them. Anyways, we worked in the village as waitresses or maids for some of the 'richer' villagers. We never had an opportunity to leave." Maddie looked up at Charlie and smiled. He gave a quick peck on the head and motioned for her to continue.
Maddie said, "One day, I was waiting for a man. He was talking about some 'damn muggles'. I froze and could hardly believe what he was saying. Lia and I asked him if he was a wizard. He answered with a suspicious nod. We told him that we had to get back to Scotland, to Hogwarts. He didn't ask many questions."
Seeing the horrified looks on the Weasleys' faces, Lia elaborated, "I know, I know. He could've been a Death Eater. But what other choice was there? We wanted so badly to get back to Hogwarts and England." She paused for a second. "He was the one who told us about the whole 'The-Boy-Who-Lived' story. His name is Atticus Kanley, works for the Ministry of Magic."
Maddie continued, "We came to Hogwarts on the last Hogsmeade weekend. That was after Exams. So, we've really been here for about 2 weeks." She chuckled. "I was so freaked out when we came out of the floo place at The Three Broomsticks. There were so many people around. Even the teachers! Just sitting there, drinking their Butterbeer."
"But of course, the students didn't know us. They kind of looked up when they saw that the floo had just brought two witches in. But I think the fact that we looked very poor had drained the mystery that was building around us," Lia said, glancing back.
"Actually, this one kid, with red hair came up to us. He asked if we wanted some of his candy. I was so surprised, totally shocked. Why was he offering candy?" Charlie and Bill groaned. "He introduced himself as Fred Weasley. He motioned his brother and introduced him as George Weasley. Needless to say, I was so shocked. I glanced back and caught sight of yet another red-haired boy... Ron's very tall, isn't he? And a petite auburn haired girl... Ginny's really pretty." She paused, reminiscing. "The last time I had seen them, they were little babies. Ron was a little older than a year, and Ginny was what, two maybe three months old? I can't believe I used to baby-sit them! It seemed so long ago." She trailed off, remembering better times. "Well, back to the story. Ginny and Ron were sitting there with I guess, their friends. A brown-haired girl, a tall boy, I think his name was Lee...yes, Lee. A partner of the twins in their business, as the twins called it. I saw a mass of raven colored hair, head bowed. He was shaking with suppressed laughter, clearly amused at our predicament. I don't think he got a good look at me because he didn't recognize me this afternoon when I went over. Everyone else was looking at us expectantly and smiling. It really was a nice thing. To see them all smile so much. The man had told us of the Dark Times. He told us the Dark Lord had come back. I think one of his kids goes to Hogwarts, or maybe he just believes Grandfather, I don't know. I reached over to take the candy from them, and was almost about to pop it into my mouth, awaiting the worst, but Lia stopped me..." Maddie trailed off, expecting her friend to pick up the story from there.
"I was so shocked at hearing them say our name. I was scared witless, you could say. But I couldn't move, I wasn't thinking. I could see Maddie glancing behind the twins, but I couldn't see past them... they were blocking my view. I just stood there stunned. But when Maddie was about to eat the candy, I knew she couldn't. It would attract too much attention, with a bunch of students crowded around two strangers and the professors would recognize us. At least Professor McGonagall. I literally grabbed the candy back out of her hand. I remember saying to the disappointed twins, 'I'm sorry, but Maddie is diabetic. She isn't supposed to be eating any type of sugar. It was a pleasure meeting you, though.' I then took Maddie by her arm and dragged her over to Madam Rosmerta to ask for a room. The wizard had given us some money, in exchange for all the muggle ones we had, since he would be going back out into the muggle world soon and didn't want to stop by Gringotts," Lia finished.
"Well anyway, we went up to our room to sleep. It was a long tiring journey. First using a portkey to travel to a wizarding town miles away, then using floo powder to cross a whole continent is not in anyway relaxing. A few days later, we went back to Potter Mansion. The floo network still works there. It's just the way it was. I don't think Grandfather had the heart to change anything. We collected the Gringotts vault key and went to Diagon Alley. We didn't want to stay in the Wizarding world, because we might be recognized. Instead, we converted some money to muggle, so we could live in muggle London. We rented a really nice room there and thought of the best way to see Grandfather. I figured late night would be good, no one would be there except him." Maddie gave a wry smile.
"Yea, we went to see Professor Dumbledore, and there was an Order of the Phoenix meeting. Everyone was there. Well, not everyone, but a lot of people nonetheless. But we told them our story and Harry's plans for the summer were finalized. It was so nice to see them again... but they looked like they'd seen a ghost when we stepped into the room." Lia chuckled at the memory.
Maddie said, "I was hoping to take Harry to Diagon Alley when Lia and I go there in a few days. Grandfather said we should pick out wands. Lia and I are powerful when it comes to wandless magic... which is very rare... but with a wand, we're pretty much as powerful as we were when we disappeared."
There was silence after she had finished speaking. Bill spoke up, "I'm really glad you're back, though. Charlie, too." At this, his brother nodded his agreement.
They just sat there not really speaking to each other. Finally as the night darkened to its deepest, the four friends fell asleep in each other's arms.
Remus Lupin and Padfoot, the dog, came through the living room entryway. They were really curious to find out the girls' story. However, they weren't prepared for the sight that greeted them. Padfoot turned into his human self and scowled.
There on the two couches, were Maddie and Charlie sleeping in each other's arms. Bill and Lia were no less comfortable. A smile was playing on the girls' lips, a look of contentment on the boys'.
Remus was upset to see Maddie sleeping like that. He pushed aside his conflicting feelings and conjured a blanket for her and Charlie. He motioned Sirius to do the same for Bill and Lia. A look of distaste on his face, Sirius did as he was told. They left the room, but not before turning off the lights. They then disapparated to Remus' place.
A/N: to be continued....
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