|SIYE Time:1:54 on 17th January 2018|
Memoirs of a Red Headed Witch
By My Wicked Quill
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Category: Pre-OotP, Post-OotP, Post-HBP, Post-Hogwarts, Post-DH/AB
Genres: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Humor, Romance, Songfic
Warnings: Mild Language, Mild Sexual Situations, Violence
Summary: Ginny Weasley was always overlooked. Always the youngest, always the smallest, and was never really given the chance to let her voice be heard. But sometimes the best insight comes from those who were always in the background. Her story of redemption, loyalty and love, proves that she was never just the Weasley brothers' little sister.
Hitcount: Story Total: 96332; Chapter Total: 2343
Awards: View Trophy Room
I loved writing Lupin! Tell me if I did him justice!
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Entry 6: The Potter Pattern
"He drowns in his dreams,
an exquisite extreme I know,
He’s as damned as he seems,
But more heaven than a heart could hold…
He’s magic and myth,
As strong as what I believe,
He's tragedy with,
More damage than a soul should see,
But he's so beautiful, he's a beautiful disaster." Beautiful Disaster Kelly Clarkson
You didn’t have to know him long to notice a pattern in his life. Just when things were becoming stable and ordinary, something would come up and Harry Potter once again found himself in the midst of the danger and confusion all over again. I had never once really considered the risky actions he performed I just took notice in the fact that he was always a part of these great adventure stories, not realizing what exactly they entailed. But as I got older I found that it wasn’t always fun and excitement, it was life threatening. His life, no matter how famous and loved he was, it wasn’t what he deserved.
My first glimpse, of course, was down in the chamber. But I was the damsel in distress, it wouldn’t be until later, that I really had a first-hand experience with these so called, “adventures”. Nightmares, more like.
But now, Sirius Black was in the castle hunting him down and the danger was vehemently upon us, upon him.
The students were shoveled off to the Great Hall along with the Ravenclaws, Hufflepuffs and to most of our displeasure, the Slytherins; supplied with rather lavish purple sleeping bags, we were all to stay within the confines of the magically guarded Great Hall under the watchful eyes of the Head Girl and the Head Boy (Percy —as if he’d let you forget it) and sleep while the faculty and staff searched the castle for the notoriously dangerous madman, Sirius Black. It was a rather complicated situation, and I knew that there wouldn’t be much sleeping going on.
“Let’s set up over there,” came a whisper from my left.
Hermione, Ron and Harry were already making their way, rather inconspicuously, toward the corner of the room.
“This is rather exciting, isn’t it?”
I turned toward the new voice, “Exciting? Luna, aren’t you at the least bit anxious?”
My friend stared at me as though considering, “Not really, I guess. If Sirius Black is clever enough to get through the dementors and sneak into the school….then he is smart enough to not stick around once he couldn’t get into the Gryffindor common room, don’t you think? The walls do talk in this place, everyone knows how the portraits gossip, even Sirius Black.”
Her logic, surprisingly, calmed my nerves. It was true what she said, and I considered how clever the man had to be to get all the way to the seventh floor without being detected as I set up my sleeping bag beside hers. “How do you think he got in anyway?” I asked once we were both warm and settled.
“Oh there are a millions ways to get into Hogwarts…the real question is ‘which way did he chose?’ My bet is the underground tunnels.”
“Luna, there aren’t any underground tunnels.”
“Well, they are supposed to be secret, so you wouldn’t know about them, would you?”
I sighed. For a while I laid there consumed in my musings of a man made of smoke, whisping his way through the walls, suffocating anyone who stood in the way of his goal, Harry Potter.
Then, I started to worry about the so called “safety” of the school in general. Voldemort managed to hold a position as a Professor two years before; the previous year, the chamber of secrets was opened by an eleven year old, which threatened the lives of hundreds of children and hospitalized a dozen….and currently…. A murderer was quite possibly running rampage through the halls.
My older brothers never came home for holiday with such dire tales of their schooling; the most explicit stories came from the Quidditch pitch. Was this really what Hogwarts was supposed to be like? Or could there be some coincidence that the moment Harry stepped back into our world… it went bonkers? If only I knew then, that something like Sirius Black tearing up the Fat Lady’s portrait would be child’s play compared to what Hogwarts was going to witness within and without its walls in the next four years….
“Luna,” I asked, coming back to reality, “What exactly do you think is so exciting about all this?” I would never have thought Luna as the adrenaline type.
“Well, it’s like a big sleepover. With sleeping bags and sleeping on the floor with a friend, and everything. I’ve never been to a sleepover before.”
The answer was not what I was expecting at all. Then again, it never was the case with Luna. That’s what I liked about her so much. She was the most refreshing person I ever knew. I smiled “Me either.”
She smiled back. And for a little while, even though the school around us was gossiping and spewing theories and concerns… Luna and I didn’t pay much mind. I had had my fill of danger for the day. At that moment, I was having a sleepover with my best friend. Black be damned.
The morning came without any results and an all clear on the grounds. Sirius Black was gone again. He remained, however, the topic of conversation throughout the student body for the following days. Questions on his motives and on his whereabouts as well as exaggerated stories on supposed sightings were very popular with the school population.
“I swear, I saw a glimpse of him today by the lake! He ran into the trees and vanished again!”
“I swear there was someone following me from the third floor corridor last night, it must have been Sirius Black!”
The only people who took the Black situation seriously (no pun intended….okay, maybe a little bit) was those who knew he was hell bent on killing off Harry. Meaning the faculty, and Harry, Ron, Hermione and myself. Life did, however, move on. Classes kept coming and students kept studying, and Quidditch kept being played.
It was during one of these matches that the rain came down so thick I could barely see my hands let alone the players on their brooms. Instead of staying indoors like some of the other first and second years, I was out there cheering on the Gryffindor team with the older, more passionate students.
Ravenclaw was putting up a good fight, and while it was tough to watch the game, the excitement was still gripping the audience.
“I hope no one gets hurt!” Hermione cried over the roar of the wind and the crowd.
I laughed, “It’s Quidditch Hermione! Of course someone’s going to get hurt!”
“That’s an awful thing to say!”
“But it’s the truth! The players know what they are getting themselves into, it’s a brutal game!”
“If you know so much about Quidditch, why don’t you go on up there then? I’m sure you’d love to play in these conditions!”
“I’ll be up there someday, I promise, and I’d play in any condition.”
Hermione shook her head and shielded her eyes from the rain, “I can’t even tell who is who!”
“As long as you can tell who is red and who is blue, nothing else matters- WOO!!!!” I cried as Gryffindor made a score.
“Who’s that?” yelled Hermione, pointing out a player who was ascending into the sky at an impressive pace.
Putting two and two together was simple.
“It’s Harry,” I informed her.
She rewarded me with a skeptical, but concerned look, “How do you figure?”
“Well, the only reason someone would be up that high would be to follow the snitch. And since that player is wearing read, and is a seeker….”
We watched as Harry disappeared into the clouds.
“Did you see that?” Cried a hyped Ron from Hermione’s other side; he’d been enthusiastically enjoying the game with his roommates named Seamus Finnegan and Dean Thomas. “Harry’s just crossed the pitch boundaries!”
It really was all exciting in that moment. We all expected Harry to emerge from the storm, the snitch tight in hand, as well as and a victory for Gryffindor. That would have been… amazing.
And then suddenly: there was a crack in the sky, a hole in the clouds, in which a form fell through. Harry was free falling…off his broom. Falling over one hundred feet, he became clearer and clearer to the crowd, as he fell closer, and it was obvious that he was completely unconscious.
He was just falling, helpless, lifeless, as though he was already dead. When he fell, my heart fell with him. Hermione gasped at my side, shocked into immobility. Harry had been doing so beautifully, playing the game with determination and swiftness. He fell as fast as the rain drops.
Thankfully, Dumbledore stopped him before he met the ground fatally. His body slowed to a drift and it was Dumbledore who had cast the spell to catch his body.
People were screaming but I hadn’t heard them until Dumbledore caught Harry, my world had just ignored everything around me and focused on him. I breathed a sigh of relief, and turned to find that Ron and Hermione had vanished from my side. I wanted to go with them, knowing they would be going to see if he was alright, but when I turned they were gone. I was alone… and I was wet. I grudgingly made my way back up to the castle not caring to see if that damned Cedric Diggory won the match.
Dementors. As if Harry didn’t have enough to worry about at the time, the dementors monitoring the school affected Harry worse than anyone else. I heard all this when I entered the castle and McGonagall was yelling up a storm about how they shouldn’t even had been on the pitch to start with. The dementor had reached Harry up in the clouds where no one could see, rendering him unconscious. Just like that day on the train.
The dementors had just turned deadly.
I spent that whole night, (I know, I know.) making a (Merlin, what got into me I had no idea.) singing get well card.
Yes it sang.
Yes I gave it to him.
“I think it looks great!”
“You really think he’ll like it?”
“Of course, but then, I don’t know him. So, I could be wrong. Maybe he doesn’t like anything. I wouldn’t know. I know I like it.”
I laughed, “Thanks, Luna.”
We were in the library, far from the nut case that was Madam Pince. I felt pretty confident about the card, and was just showing Luna the finishing touches.
“It truly was awful, seeing him fall.”
“Yes, it was. Why do you think these things happen to him Luna?”
I closed the finished product and turned to my friend. She sighed, “I don’t know, maybe it’s his scar.”
“His scar? As in, everyone is after him- these things happen because he’s the Harry Potter?”
“Well yes…in a way, I think it’s more that his scar has some magical power, some kind of curse or something that draws danger towards him…like a magnet!”
She thought, his scar…
“His scar is magical?”
“We’re magical aren’t we? Why couldn’t the parts of us, like a scar, be magical too?”
I thought she was insane. I loved her, but, I really thought she was insane. As an older woman now, knowing things even most full aged wizards wouldn’t dream of, I see that she was spot on. But you’re going to have to wait.
The following day I wasn’t there when he awoke but I made myself find time to get up to the hospital wing to wish him well and present him with the card. If I said I was nervous that would have been an understatement.
I walked up to his bed and realized we were completely alone. He looked so tired and worn out, I almost told him I’d come back later, but he told me not to worry and I knew if I backed out I wouldn’t have gone back.
I should have backed out.
My hands were shaking but he didn’t seem to notice, unless he acted as though he didn’t notice. And when he opened it and it began to sing his face almost turned as red as mine. Almost.
“Err… wow, Gin, this is… this is great. Thanks…thanks so much.” He smiled up at me. I almost couldn’t breathe.
“No- no problem, Harry…I hope you feel better.” My voice cracked and shook, but I managed.
I said a quick farewell, and practically ran from the room, but I did hear the singing from the card on my way out.
He had been calling me Gin ever since that moment in the Chamber and he’d been the only one.
Once Harry left the Hospital Wing with a clean bill of health, I knew it was time to get some answers. The dementors were suddenly much more dangerous than they had been before. It was practically a matter of life or death; nothing was ever enough to get Harry off a broom. Not a rouge bludger: he managed to regain balance and STILL caught the snitch. Not even a cursed broom (as I heard the mad Professor Quierrel from Harry first year was to blame) could throw him off: Harry managed to keep a one handed grip as he dangled from the handle.
The dementors had a strong enough effect to not only knock him out, but drop hundreds of feet to his death. This was very, very wrong. It was time to speak with Professor Lupin. This was actually one of my better ideas; he had proven himself to be a smart man, and thanks to Hermione, I also knew he was trustworthy.
I asked my friend for advice on whether I should seek some help from said teacher, and she, with some persuasive coaxing from me, divulged that Harry had in fact already chatted with Lupin regarding the same subject. Not that I would admit to anyone that I knew. it was Harry’s personal business after all. But I figured it was my turn for some information, so I returned to the Defense classroom after daily lessons were out.
He turned around, startled to see me there. “Oh, Miss. Weasley, what a pleasant surprise. What can I do for you?”
I had no idea how I was going to bring the subject up- I really didn’t- it wasn’t exactly light and easy conversation. But if he could help Harry, then he could help me too.
“I’m actually not sure how to start, exactly,” I said.
Lupin took a seat behind his desk and gestured for me to take the one opposite him.
“Well, I’ve heard it’s usually best to start at the beginning,” he replied with a lopsided grin. “Do you per chance need assistance with your schoolwork?”
I shook my head, taking his offered seat, “It has nothing to do with school actually.”
“Is there a problem at home, then? I am familiar with your family and I’ll do what I can to help.”
I was touched by his genuine concern. He really seemed to be interested in what I had to say and it was nice. “No, no, Professor; actually, I was wondering if I could speak with you…about Dementors.”
He stared curiously as I sat hoping he wouldn’t question me too much. There was a lot that I was not going to be comfortable talking about with someone I only recently met.
“Dementors aren’t usually covered until fourth year, Miss. Weasley. Is there a specific reason you are in search of more information than I’m sure you already have?”
I looked down to my hands, “Don’t you think it would be prudent for all Hogwarts’ students to know as much as they could about a creature that is present in every day of their lives? Especially if they are supposedly protecting the school?”
Lupin’s light eyes narrowed, “Supposedly? The dementors are in fact guarding the school-”
“Yes, I’m sure that’s exactly what they were doing when they knocked Harry Potter off his broom.” It was rather forward of me to imply, but it was out before I could stop it.
Lupin seemed surprised as he raised an eyebrow, “You are much more eloquent than you seem Miss. Weasley.”
“Call me Ginny.”
“Alright, Ginny.” Lupin leaned forward on his desk and crossed his fingers, as he looked straight at me. I felt almost uneasy, until I saw the sadness in his eyes. It was heartbreaking; I didn’t know the man, yet, I could tell that he was seriously troubled.
“I saw you on the train,” he said. “I do remember your reaction to the dementors, and I must confess, I’m surprised it has taken you this long to come to me.”
“Many students have approached me about this subject, but it was because they felt sad, and remembered a pet running away, or a grandparent passing, in which case, I explained to them the basics of what a dementor does and request they eat some chocolate if it ever happened again. I assured them that it wouldn’t happen on these grounds.”
I shook my head, “But I already know the basics about a dementor.”
“Excuse my confusion, Professor, but how did you know I was going up to show up here?”
“Ginny, all those other students had mild experiences with the dementors on the train, they were merely distraught. So this made me positive that two specific students were bound to come to me sooner or later.
“Two…being myself and…?”
Well that made sense, considering what Hermione had told me. Lupin didn’t know that I knew however.
“But I’m sure you knew that, and you’ve come to hear what I told him.”
I flushed, or not. “Well, I didn’t know what else to do, it seemed you had shed some light for him...and I…how did you figure a connection between the both of us in the first place?”
I asked for the sake of asking; anyone with half a brain could see that Harry and I had the worst episodes.
“You both suffered reactions that were, shall we say, different in their own right- but disturbing none the less.”
“Disturbing, Professor?” I asked through a lump of shame in my throat.
“No one so young should be put through such emotional strain. I have something to tell you. After witnessing what I did on the train, I immediately understood the effect on Harry, but not yours. Please excuse my curiosity; I decided to ask Dumbledore about you the moment I could. The events of last year have been kept very confidential- on a need to know basis. Some of it is still a mystery, but Dumbledore entrusted me with the truth.”
I blushed, feeling embarrassed and almost betrayed. I knew that I had no right to ask to hide the truth, my actions last year were bound to have consequences. But that didn’t mean I had to like the idea of strangers knowing my past.
“Don’t feel bad, I pried it out of him and he relented. He decided that it would be beneficial to have me understand what happened to you. At this point only Professor McGonagall knows about the,” he dropped his voice a bit, “possession.”
I grimaced and looked away at the sound of the word. I didn’t even know this man and he knew my deepest darkest secret. And the fact that he would even bring it up! Who did he think it was?
“I’m terribly sorry if I’ve upset you, Ginny,” said Professor Lupin in a soft voice. “But Dumbledore believes as I do, that I could help you.”
“Then why didn’t you approach me earlier, when you found out? If you are adamant on helping me, then why haven’t you said anything?”
He smiled, “Because this was something you needed to do on your own. Admitting you need help, even if it is just wanting information on something that is bothering you, it’s the first step.”
It took a minute to formulate a coherent response, “So you’re going to help me get over what happened in the Chamber?”
“You really should talk to someone about it, and now, you can talk to me.”
He was being so genuine- that I could tell. And deep inside I was relieved to hear all of it- that I could get help that someone would listen, someone who already knew what happened and was still willing to help me through it. But, naturally, I was terrified of doing so.
“I came here to talk about Dementors, actually. Not for help, or to talk about the Chamber. I came for information.” He was making me feel weak and helpless, and I didn’t like it at all.
The Professor stood with a shrug, “Well, whatever it is you think you came here for, you showed maturity and confidence, and for that, I commend you. Not many students have the courage to be straight forward like you’ve been. Actually, I can only think of one.”
I instantly felt bad for being so stand off-ish. “Are you going to tell me how you’ve been helping Harry?” I asked hopefully.
He walked over and closed the classroom door and I instantly became excited. Opening the window so that fresh light washed over the room, he said, “I’ve been teaching Harry how to fend off dementors.”
My jaw dropped wide open, “You’ve been teaching him how to fight them?” Now that was impressive.
“It is actually more along the lines of defending himself.”
“Can you show me?” I eagerly asked.
Lupin chuckled and returned to his desk, leaning against it, “Nice try, but I’m afraid not.”
“But that’s not fair!”
“Harry is a year older-”
“Yes, and I suppose he is a boy too!”
“No, Ginny, don’t be upset. I’m sure you have just the same amount of magical power as a third year; you are, after all, the seventh child of a pureblood family. But I don’t think you need to learn this just yet.”
I crossed my arms defiantly, “Oh, and Harry does?”
“Well, considering the dementors seem set on knocking him out, I’d rather teach him than watch him fall another 150 feet.”
I winced, disappointed that I had let him make a fair point. “Fine. Then how are you going to help me?”
“Alright first things first, what did you come here to learn?”
“The only thing I know about dementors is that they feed off of people’s happiness.”
“Essentially, yes,” he told me, “dementors manage to suck all the happiness you’ve ever felt out of you. That is why you feel as though you will never be happy again. As though that sadness is the only thing you will ever feel.”
“So why is it so different for different people? Why are some more affected than others?”
Lupin sighed, “Some are cursed with more misfortune and heartache than others. When the dementors start taking someone’s happiness, those with have been subjected to more pain and endured more darkness will be more deeply affected.”
“So Harry lost consciousness because there’s been so much pain in his life, it was too much for him to handle upfront?”
“Yes, not to mention he has been touched by You-Know-Who,” he said carefully. I stiffened. “And that evil leaves fingerprints. The Dark Lord is the epitome of everything the dementors make you feel."
I didn’t say anything. What could I say? He was basically saying that the dementors could feel the evil inside me.
Professor Lupin kneeled down by my chair and put a hand on my shoulder, “Ginny, sometimes dementors make you relive your worst memories, and I believe this is why you had such a hard time on the train. Did Harry tell you what he heard?”
“He…said he heard…screaming. He thought it was his mum’s voice.”
Lupin sighed, “It took a while, but I figured that what he heard was his mother the night she was murdered in front of him.”
The weight of that piece of information was not lost to me. I couldn’t believe he was telling me such personal information, but mainly I felt terrible that Harry had heard what he did. It took me a minute to realize that the tear that had dropped onto my hand was my own.
Somehow, it seemed Professor Lupin knew what I was thinking. "You are not evil," he said, "But you have experienced it. You were touched by You-Know-Who and went through an emotional trauma; whether you admit it or not, you are still sorting through all the baggage. Please tell me what you heard on the train, Ginny, I can help you through this, but you just have to help yourself first.”
At the time, I didn't understand how he could even offer to help me. I felt I was a lost cause. I felt that although I could hide the darkness from someone like Bill, Tom would always be there inside my head, and how could I conceal that from my Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher?
"I can't," I whispered.
"Can't, or won't?"
I looked away, nearly crying. I hadn't gone to talk about Tom, and as great as it sounded-
"You heard him, didn't you? You heard Tom Riddle's voice? As though you were back inside the Chamber of Secrets?"
Why was he so pushy? Why couldn't he just teach me how to protect myself like he was teaching Harry?
"You don't have anything to be ashamed of," he continued when I remained silent. "No one is mad at you; I am not going to judge."
"You say that now but-"
I looked right into his eyes. There were old, deep scars on his face, and I briefly wondered what he had been through to get them. I did not know much about Remus Lupin, but he looked much, much older than he really was. It was that moment that I realized Lupin had his own daunting demons, and somehow he was still in one piece- somehow he seemed a good man. It was that moment I started to trust Remus Lupin. The moment I decided that perhaps he really could help me.
But there was a deeper side of me warning me not to say anything...
“My brothers and my parents…they have forgiven me….but they don’t know that I-I still hear T-Tom Riddle’s voice in my head.” The statement the truth shall set you free had never really felt as real as it did right then. A major weight was lifted off my shoulders and a breath of fresh air settled into my chest.
Remus Lupin slowly nodded his head, no doubt assessing and swallowing the information I just told him. “Alright. I want you to come and see me after classes every once in a while, and whenever you need me. We will work this all out, and you will see that opening up helps, it really does. Keeping everything bottled up inside makes you hateful and angry; it won’t lead anywhere good.
“Okay,” I finally said, “I can do that.”
He smiled wildly and it was infectious. “Good. You are going to be okay, you know. You don’t have to do everything alone; your brothers aren’t here and there is no need for that brave face.”
“I just don’t want to be thought of as the lost little girl.”
“You aren’t. You are something special, Ginny Weasley and not even Voldemort can take that away from you.”
“You said his name.”
“Yes, well, he is dead. I think that is going to be your first step, proving to Tom, as well as yourself, that you cannot be intimidated by him. Say his name.”
“I can definitely do that.” With a deep breath I got up to leave. “Thank you, Professor.”
He smiled, “Of course.”
Making my way to the door, Lupin called me once more, “Oh and Ginny?”
I turned, “Yes?”
“Just don’t say the name in front of your mum, I am acquainted with her and she might have my head for encouraging you.”
If only I had known that in a few years’ time, not only would my family be acquainted with Remus Lupin, he’d be part of it.
I went to Lupin's office at least once a week. We had several more chats about the dementors, as did we talk about what Tom was saying in my head. Talking it through was like a way to keep Tom weak and after a while, he wasn't there at all.
Lupin believed that it was my mind who created him to voice my doubts and fears in the most real way possible, while I felt that since he had been inside me, my conscience held onto a piece of his personality. Eventually, we have to compromise and suggest that it was a little bit of both.
I also told him every detail of what happened in the Chamber before Harry arrived. This has been one of the hardest things I ever had to do but it was the most freeing as well; talking to Professor Lupin was the best thing that could've happened to me in my second year at Hogwarts.
But as things were personally looking up for me, the wizarding society was becoming frantic about Sirius Black.
“I need to tell you something very private about Harry.”
“Hermione, I have to wonder, will there ever be a point when ANYONE keeps Harry’s personal information….I don’t know… personal?”
She rolled her eyes, “Oh come on! I need to talk to someone outside them two, and it has to be a girl! Ron makes me insane, and Harry makes me worry too much all the time.
“I call it the Potter Pattern.”
She smiled, “Clever.”
“Alright,” I said with a sigh as I closed my text books, giving up on studying. I had been alone in the library while a few students finished up there evening work around me before dinner, when Hermione came and interrupted me. “Tell me.”
“Not here, follow me.”
She began to walk to the back of the library and I quickly grabbed my things and followed. “Where are we going?”
“Shh! Wait until we are out of ear shot from the other students.”
The information really must have been good.
When we reached the last few book shelves, Hermione began to walk down one of the aisles.
“Hermione?” She turned to face me and watched me warily, “I can handle whatever it is, Hermione.”
“I know you can, it’s just, this is some disturbing news, and I’ve tried to help Harry the best I can and…. He’s now more determined than ever…”
“Determined to what?”
“To catch Sirius Black.”
“Why would he do-” Hermione clasped a hand on my mouth as I had nearly yelled.
“Be quiet! You need to listen to me. Harry might be stubborn and too bold for his age, but he’s not exactly reasonless, he has revenge to gain by going after Black.”
I nodded slowly, indicating that she should remove her hand. “Vengeance? But Black has been rotting in Azkaban since Harry was a year old, what could Harry possibly hold against Black personally, aside from Black threatening his life, of course.”
Hermione lowered her hand slowly and her eyes lost their spark. “That’s just it,” she sadly said, “It’s what he did before he went to Azkaban. The other day Harry met us in Hogsmeade under the Invisibility cloak, and we over heard some information about Black when we passed Professor McGonagall speaking to Madam Rosmerta from the Three Broomsticks. They went inside the pub to finish their conversation and Harry sneaked in behind them and witnessed the entire conversation.”
“What did they say?”
“Ginny, it turns out that Sirius Black, was James Potter’s best friend.”
I nearly lost my footing from the weight of the news. “What?”
Hermione had tears in her eyes, “Sirius and James we inseparable at school, and after graduation.”
“Oh my, how…how could Harry’s father be friends with a madman?”
“Ginny, you don’t know the worst of it.”
I blinked, “What else did Harry find out?”
“Sirius Black gave You-Know-Who information on the Potter’s whereabouts when they were in hiding during the First Wizarding War.”
“Wait, I don’t understand- that means-”
“Sirius Black was the one who betrayed Harry’s parents to the Dark Lord; he’s the reason they are dead.”
A new found hatred for a man I had never even met grew in my heart. “The bastard. No wonder Harry wants to catch him-”
“Harry wants to kill him.”
My head snapped up and I stared her in the eyes. “Kill him?”
“Ginny, it gets worse.”
My heart started pounding, “How could it possibly get worse?”
“Before Black went crazy and killed all those people, before he betrayed the Potter’s…when Harry was born, James and Lily named Sirius Black, Harry’s Godfather.”
It definitely could get worse.
“I think I have to sit down,” I said, sinking to the ground.
“I know, it’s the worst thing I’ve ever heard.”
It broke my heart. Here we all thought that the only family Harry had left were his terrible aunt and uncle….and surprise, surprise, Harry still had a Godfather.
A Godfather who was intent on ending his life.
The both of us sat in silence for a few moments, “That’s all of it, isn’t it?” I asked.
“That’s all you wanted to tell me? There’s nothing worse, is there?”
“Could you think of anything worse?”
Sirius Black was the most horrid human being I’d ever heard of, aside from You-Know-Who.
Suddenly, Hermione stood and began looking through the books on the shelf.
“What are you doing?”
“I almost forgot, I brought you back here for a reason.”
“Well, yes, to tell me this news.”
“No, we could have gone anywhere else for that, but I needed to come back here for a reason.”
“And that would be?”
“I’m looking for the Wizarding Encyclopedia from 1973.”
“Well the wizarding world publishes a new encyclopedia of wizarding information each year for new spells, and new terms, events and background information. Magic is always changing, you know.”
“Yes, I know that, I was born and raised in this world, Hermione. But why 1973?”
“A few weeks ago, your brother’s Fred and George gave Harry a magical object called ‘The Marauder’s Map.’ It’s a magical map of the school grounds that shows where every person on the grounds is at any given moment, and their movement. That’s how he was able to sneak out and meet us in Hogsmeade.”
“You must be joking!”
“I’m not, it’s truly incredible magic, but very wrong as well.”
I rolled my eyes, only Hermione would bring down such a useful tool. “Come on, Hermione, that thing could help any one of us escape detention every time, not to mention-”
“Not to mention dangerous if it gets into the wrong hands. I’ve told Harry countless times to turn it in to McGonagall.”
“Are you sure you’re not a teacher here? You sure sound like one.”
Not bothering to give me a look as she continued on her still inexplicable search, she said, “I’ll take that as a compliment.”
“So then why are you looking for this encyclopedia?”
“How much do we know about the creators of this map? Other than that they call themselves the ‘Marauders’? It took sometime but I was able to date the map to see when it was created-”
“You know how to do that?”
“I told you taking Ancient Runes this year would be helpful. Anyway the map was made 20 years ago in 1973.”
“That still doesn’t explain the need for an encyclopedia.”
“What does the word Marauder mean Ginny?”
“Err..um…like a wanderer, a vagabond?”
“Yes. Now what if it meant something different back then? Why would a group of four students call themselves ‘wanderers’?”
“Hermione, this is crazy. Who cares what they were called? They probably ‘wandered’ the castle together so much they made a map.”
“There might be some sort of clue.”
“Ginny. Look,” she snapped, “I want to find out who these Marauder people were, and whatever else I can about them. It’s research, it’s digging, and when you start research and digging it’s always the best idea to start with simple origins. All the way back to the beginning. Then, I can work my way up, it’s what I’ve always done. We want to find out about these Marauders? We need to see the definition, origin and information for marauder as they saw it back in 1973.”
In a silly kind of way it made sense; it was all very thorough, but it was Hermione. I didn’t see how a simple definition could shed any light on this mystery. Besides, the whole Marauder thing was playing second to what was really at the front of my mind, the notorious Sirius Black.
“Ah, here it is.”
“Hermione, this is a far-fetched waste of time, I’m sure you realize it.”
“Shut up, Ginny,” she said as she pulled out the practically ancient text and opened it. A puff of dust consumed her face, and I, still on the ground, held back a chuckle. There was no point in discussing it with her anymore, Hermione always did what she thought was the best idea. I watched as she scanned the pages looking for the right term.
What amount of madness could possibly cause a man to turn on his best friend, and make him want to drown in the blood of his own Godson? How could a man just flip a switch and have snapped so drastically? The Potters were known for their brilliance and intelligence, how could it be they never suspected their best friend to be mortally disturbed? Had they truly not noticed it?
“It should be on….this….page,” said Hermione’s voice in the back of my mind, “Opps!”
Suddenly, a feather light object fell on my head, slid off and landed on the floor, startling me out of my musings.
“Ginny….could you grab whatever it is the fell, it slid out from this page….” I looked up at her to find she was already consumed in her reading. My gaze drifted back to the floor where the mystery object fell; it was a photograph.
I wondered why anyone would stuff an old photograph into the pages of a stuffy old reference book. But when I picked it up and examined it, there were many more vital questions that presented themselves.
I nearly dropped the thing, wanting nothing more than to throw it as far away from me as possible and pretend I’d never seen it, but of course I couldn’t, nor wouldn’t do that.
The photo was taken at Hogwarts out by the lake and in it was four Gryffindor boys who looked like they were in their fourth of fifth year. But an old photograph of four friends from 1973 was not a cause for panic, but it was recognizing the boys that was utterly terrifying.
On the left was the easiest one, James Potter. I’d seen tons of photos of Harry’s father, but they were usually with Lily or baby Harry, never had I seen a picture of him with his apparent best friend, according to Hermione, Sirius Black. I knew it was him, a much younger cleaner looking picture, but it was definitely him. With their arms around each others shoulders, and broad, wide grins etched upon their faces, there was no hint of the evil that would touch their lives. It made me sick.
There was another boy, shorter and chubbier with a rat-like face, that I had no inkling of a clue as to his identity. Then my eyes fell upon the last boy on the right side of Black, clutching what seemed to be a text book, and a contented smile, almost as broad as the other boys. That’s when I panicked. It was the deeply haunted, troubled eyes that caught my attention.
I knew those eyes.
I jumped, “Yes?”
“What was it that fell?”
I looked up to see she was still reading. Not five seconds had passed.
I had to be careful about this, if I showed her, she would tell Harry, and things would get complicated, heated and it could lead to hurt. Then again, maybe Hermione would know what to do, besides, this was exactly the kind of clue she was looking for. I could hardly believe something like this would just fall into my lap.
Would it be like betraying her? If I didn’t show it?
It’s not like they don’t keep plenty of secrets, and in all honesty, I needed to hear the explanation for myself.
“Nothing, just a black piece of paper someone was probably using as a book mark,” I replied coolly, slipping the photo into my bag. “What did you find?” I jumped up and peered over her shoulder.
“There’s a lot in here about famous historical marauders, but ultimately, it states that marauders are a band of rebellious outlaws. Like pirates.”
I had heard once that James Potter was a lively young man always getting into trouble…it was one of the reasons everyone always told Harry he was just like his father.
Was it a far stretch to assume they were “The Marauders”?
Hermione snapped the book closed and pushed her bushy hair out of her eyes. “Well, that’s a start.”
“A start? Hermione you already knew whoever made that map was up to no good.”
She looked at me and laughed, “Funny choice of words.”
I was obviously missing something. , but I didn’t care, I needed to get out of there.
“Dinner is about to start, let’s go.”
She shoved the large book back into its place on the begotten shelf and led me out of the maze that was the library.
“Actually, I’ll meet you there, I have to do something,” I said, feeling a dead weight from my shoulder bag.
“Bye!” I called behind me, for I had already taken off running down the corridor and leaving Hermione baffled and clueless behind me.
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