Chapter 1: 001
November 1st 1981
On a street called Privet Drive Albus Dumbledore stands removing the light from the lamps. A cat meows beside him making him look down to the tabby cat, "I should have known that you would be here...Professor McGonagall." The cat meows again and transforms into a human form.
"Good evening, Professor Dumbledore. Are the rumours true, Albus?" McGonagall asks.
"I'm afraid so, Professor. The good, and the bad."
"And the children?"
"Hagrid is bringing them."
"Do you think it wise to trust Hagrid with something as important as this?"
"Ah, Professor, I would trust Hagrid with my life."
The two professors look up to the sound of a motorbike flying down to ground level. Hagrid takes off his goggles and steps off the bike. "Professor Dumbledore, Sir. Professor McGonagall," he greets.
"No problems, I trust, Hagrid?" Dumbledore asks.
"No, sir. Little tyke fell asleep just as we were flying over Bristol. Heh. Try not to wake him. She's been awake the entire time though. There you go," he replies handing over a small boy and a slightly older girl as they stop outside a house.
"Albus, do you really think it's safe, leaving them with these people? I've been watching them all day. They're the worst sort of Muggles imaginable. They really are...." McGonagall argues.
"The only family they have," Dumbledore inputs.
"These children will be famous. There won't be a child in our world who doesn't know their names, especially the boy," McGonagall continues.
"Exactly. They're better off growing up away from all that. Until they are ready."
Hagrid coughs and sniffles before clearing his throat. "There, there, Hagrid. It's not really goodbye, after all," Dumbledore comforts.
Hagrid nods. Dumbledore takes a letter and places it with the children, who is now at the foot of the door. The young boy has a visible lightning-bolt shaped scar on his forehead.
"Good luck...Harry and Hope Potter."
November 2nd 1981
"Mama? Where Dada?" a two year old girl asks. Her mother glances softly at her daughter wondering what she's going to tell her, she takes her daughter in her arms and carries her over to the couch. She sits her down on her knee as a stray tear slips out of her eye.
"Dada did something bad so he has to go away for a while," she explains even though she's too young to understand. The small girl looks up to her mother with an almost blank expression and nods her head.
"Astrid," a male voice calls from the doorway. Astrid looks to the door to see one of her best friends smiling sadly at her. She stands putting her daughter down to play and heads to her friend. They both walk into the next room where Astrid is instantly pulled into a hug. She sniffles and lets more tears fall. "Will you be okay?"
She sighs, will she be okay? Eventually, maybe. "I don't know," she replies wiping her tears. "Dumbledore said he's coming to see me tonight."
"I'm sure you'll be okay eventually," he states reassuringly. "I have to go," he adds sadly.
"Good luck Remus," she states as he walks out the door and disappears. Not long after his visit Albus Dumbledore shows up in her living room. "Professor," she greets quietly as she pulls a blanket over her now sleeping daughter, Cassandra. They both walk into the next room as to not wake Cassandra.
"How are you?" he asks when they reach the other room.
She sighs sadly before replying, "I guess i'm okay." She pours herself a glass of fire whiskey after Dumbledore refuses some. "Harry? Hope?" she asks curious to know about her god children's well being.
"They were dropped off safely with their aunt and uncle," he tells her which causes her to grimace in disgust knowing what Petunia and Vernon were like.
"Are you sure that was a wise decision?"
"There won't be a child in our world who doesn't know their names, especially Harry's, which is why it's better they grow up away from our world," he replies. Astrid can't help but slightly agree and disagree at the same time. Petunia and Vernon are the worst muggles out there but if she were to take them and raise them like she so desperately wants to then they wouldn't get a moments peace. She nods hesitantly agreeing with him.
"So, what can I do for you?" Astrid asks politely.
"I would like to offer you a job. I believe that the students would benefit from having someone to talk to. Someone who is not a teacher, just someone who they can go to with problems or if they are in need of a friend. I think you would be perfect for the position," he replies. Astrid sighs thinking about the offer, she does need a job now anyway.
After a moment she replies, "i'll do it." Dumbledore smiles kindly at her before pulling out an envelope and putting it on the table.
"Before I forget. The ministry asked that I deliver this to you." She picks the envelope and opens it, inside was a series of documents. Dumbledore raises his eyebrow as if to ask what was inside. "I'm going back to using my maiden name and changing Cassandra's last name. The last name 'Black' isn't really liked that much, especially now," she tells him quietly.
He hums in agreement, "I look forward to seeing you at the start of the school year, Ms Evergreen." Astrid smiles at the use of her maiden name. "You too, professor." Dumbledore apperates from the room leaving Astrid to sign the documents before sending them away with her owl, Maia.
Soon her peaceful silence is interrupted by someone knocking at the door. "Now what?" she complains. She heads to the door, keeping her wand close by out of habit, and opens the door to see her brother. "Magnus? What are you doing here?" she asks surprised by his visit.
"Dad wants Mums necklace back," he states emotionless.
She scoffs in return, "and let me guess. He's too ashamed to be seen with the traitors wife?" Before he can reply Astrid pulls the necklace from her neck and drops it harshly into the brothers hand. "Now leave. Both you and Dad can stay away from me and Cassandra, I don't want to see you around here again."
For a brief second guilt flashes over his eyes but it's gone not even a second later. "I warned you, I told you he was no good," he sneers. Astrid's jaw clenches.
Magnus rolls his eyes and leaves. As soon as he's gone Astrid slides down the door with tears flowing down her cheeks. 'Why would he do this?' she thought, 'he was their best friend'. And now she had been left alone with her daughter and only one of her friends.
On October 31st 1981, Astrid Black had been left devastated. She had lost two of her best friends and her husband all in one night. Sirius Black's betrayal had been the lowest blow she had felt, her own husband had betrayed her, the order, James and Lily and, of course, her old friend Peter Pettigrew. His betrayal caused a string of problems for her in the aftermath. Her own father wouldn't dare even look at her anymore, her brother too. People hated her for being married to him. Some even thought she knew what he was going to do. She had to get through this, for her daughter's sake.
Chapter 2: 002
September 1st 1991
Almost ten years after Sirius Black's betrayal his daughter, Cassandra Evergreen, is walking happily through King's Cross station with six other people who, over the years, have become her second family. She'd met Fred and George Weasley during her first year and they instantly became best friends. Her mother had known the family from the war years however she hadn't spoken to them much until Cassandra had started going to Hogwarts.
"It's the same year after year. Always packed with muggles, of course," Molly Weasley complained as they headed towards platforms 9 and 10. "Come on. Platform 9 ¾ this way!"
"All right, Percy, you first," she said to her older son when they reached the platform. Percy lined his trolley up with the wall in between platforms 9 and 10. He ran forward and disappeared through the wall. "Fred, you next."
"He's not Fred, I am!" Cassandra smirked and rolled her eyes playfully at the twins antics.
"Honestly, woman, you call yourself our mother."
"Oh, I'm sorry, George," their mother sighed urging the twins forward. One of them moves in front of the wall. "I'm only joking. I am Fred," Fred Weasley said as he ran at the wall, disappearing like his brother did. George quickly follows his twin through the wall.
"Cassie, dear, you next," she nodded and followed her friends through the wall. However, before she ran she glanced behind her and noticed a young boy watching them in wonder as her friend Hope Potter stood behind him. Once she reached the other side of the wall she moved to stand with the twins. It took her a minute but she finally figures out that the boy watching them was Harry Potter. She'd seen a few photos of his father, James, and mother. Harry really did look a lot like James.
"Come on, lets get to the train then," Cassie said when all of the Weasleys had made it to the platform.
"Where's Lee?" Cassie asked the twins halfway into the journey. The twins laugh a little as they stare at her amused.
"Have you only just noticed that he's not here?" Fred asked.
George laughs before answering her original question, "dunno where he is. Probably with Angelina." The compartment door slides open and Hope slips in before sitting down, "hey."
The three smile and greet her, "so I heard Harry's here," Fred commented.
Hope grins, "yep, Hagrid had to come pick us up. They were going to stop me from coming back this year. Had to explain to Harry why i'd never told him and why they let me come to school though."
"What'd you say?" Cassie asked curiously.
"The truth. Told him that they especially hated me and wanted me gone so they let me come to school just so they didn't have to see me as often," she replied.
Before anything else can be said the door to the compartment opens again, "anything off the trolley?"
Cassie nodded pulling out some money, "two chocolate frogs please." The woman hands her the chocolate frogs before heading off down to the next compartment. She throws one of the frogs to the twins before opening hers. The twins grinned happily as they catch the box. Cassie opens the box and eats her frog before checking who she got on the card. "Who've you got?"
"Another Dumbledore. You?" George asks.
Cassie smirked knowing that the twins have been looking to get the card she has for forever, "Godric Gryffindor." The twins gasp in disbelief and annoyance that they still haven't found one yet. Cassie and Hope laugh before handing the card to the twins, "keep it. I've already got one. Found it over the summer." Both twins cheer in joy since that was the last card they needed to complete the set.
"Ah. Third year, what are we getting up to this year?" Fred asked dreamily. Cassie, George and Hope laugh before answering simultaneously, "probably the same as last year."
"Well, I'm going for the record again this year," Cassie told them, excitedly.
"Oh, that's right, you were only three detentions off the record last year," Fred commented. Ever since meeting the twins both Cassie's and Hope's mischievous behaviour seems to have magnified. Last year Cassie was three detentions off holding the record for most detentions in a year. She's been determined to shatter the record since it is her mother who currently holds it. Cassie stands, "I'm going to get changed, we should be there soon."
By the time the train reaches the station at Hogwarts it's pretty dark. Cassie, Hope, Fred and George step off the train and headed off to find their friends Lee and Angelina. Meanwhile, Harry Potter and his new found friend, Ron Weasley, head off towards the boats with the rest of the first years.
Like most, the first years walk through the castle in complete awe. The newcomers are all greeted by a woman at the top of the stairs, "welcome to Hogwarts. Now, in a few moments, you will pass through these doors and join your classmates. But before you can take your seats you must be sorted into your houses. They are Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin. Now, while you are here, your house will be like your family. Your triumphs will earn you house points. Any rule breaking and you will lose points. At the end of the year, the house with the most points is awarded the house cup...."
"Trevor!" a boy interrupted, the professor stares down at him making him back away, "sorry."
"The sorting ceremony will begin momentarily," she continued before leaving.
"It's true then, what they're saying on the train. Harry Potter has come to Hogwarts," a bleach blonde boy spoke up causing students to whisper around them. "This is Crabbe, and Goyle and I'm Malfoy...Draco Malfoy." Ron snickered at his name, "think my name's funny, do you? No need to ask yours. Red hair, and a hand me down robe? You must be a Weasley. Soon find that some wizarding families are better than others, Potter. Don't want to go making friends with the wrong sort. I can help you there," Draco sneered extending a hand to Harry.
"I think I can tell who the wrong sort are for myself, thanks," Harry sasses back causing Draco to glare. The professor returns and smacks him on the shoulder with paper, he retreats with one last glare. She leads the first years through two large doors and into the Great Hall where many kids were gathered around four long tables.
"All right, will you wait along here, please? Now, before we begin, Professor Dumbledore would like to say a few words," she announced as she stood next to Astrid Evergreen who is waiting at the front of the hall. Dumbledore rises from the main table.
"I have a few start of term notices I wish to announce. The first years please note that the dark forest is strictly forbidden to all students, also a reminder, if anyone has any problems you wish to discuss feel free to talk to Astrid here," he motions to her as she is stood at the front, "Also, our caretaker, Mr. Filch has asked me to remind you that the 3rd floor corridor on the right hand side is out of bounds to everyone who does not wish to die a most painful death. Thank you."
"When I call your name, you will come forward, I shall place the sorting hat on your head, and you will be sorted into your houses," Astrid takes over, "Hermione Granger." A nervous bushy haired girl steps forward and has the hat placed on her head.
Astrid sighs quietly as the nephew she hasn't seen since he was barely one approaches the hat. Even after all these years both her father and her brother refused to speak to her. As she places the hat on his head her eyes meet her daughters. Cassie knew that her mother was hurt by what they did. So was she. She doesn't even remember them but they hurt her mother so she doesn't like them. It hurts that they never wanted to know their niece and granddaughter.
The entire hall fell silent, Astrid watched her godson and best friends son walk to the sorting hat. The hat stalls for a few moments before yelling out the result, "Gryffindor!"
Everyone cheers loudly, especially the gryffindor table. Cassie and Hope laugh as Fred and George cheer, "we got Potter! We got Potter!" As Harry takes his seat Astrid takes her seat at the main table at the front and McGonagall taps on her cup, "your attention, please."
"Let the feast....begin," Dumbledore announced as food appears on the table.
At the gryffindor table Cassie introduces herself to some of the first years including Harry. As the feast continues Harry asks, "say, Cassie, who's that teacher talking to Professor Quirrell?"
Cassie glanced up to the table, "that's Professor Snape, head of Slytherin house."
"What's he teach?"
"Potions. But everyone knows it's the Dark Arts he fancies. He's been after Quirrell's job for years."
Quickly the ghosts of Hogwarts appeared in the hall, Cassie looks around before looking towards the twins, "where's Peeves?"
"Probably causing trouble somewhere," Hope replies also looking for him. Unlike the other students, Peeves actually likes Cassie, Hope and the twins. He loves their tricks and pranks. Although, he favours Cassie and Hope more. Peeves quite liked Cassie's mother and her friends, including James, not that he ever showed it. Peeves would never admit it but he quite liked the marauders despite the fact that he often played tricks on them too.
Chapter 3: 003
September 12th 1991
"I heard a rumour that Cassandra is trying to shatter your record again this year," Minerva McGonagall told Astrid, amused by the girl. Astrid laughs slightly before answering, "well, she was only three off last year."
McGonagall smiles amused when something catches her eye out of the window. Both her and Astrid watch as Harry flies around on his broom trying to catch Neville's remembrall. Draco Malfoy throws the ball causing Harry to fly after it. Before he hits the window they were watching from he catches the ball and heads back to the rest of the class. "He'd make a pretty good seeker," Astrid commented, McGonagall nodded in agreement before heading out to the class.
They both quickly appear outside, "Harry Potter? Follow us," McGonagall commanded. Harry follows them as Draco and his friends laugh. They lead Harry to Professor Quirrell's classroom who, inside, is teaching the class about iguanas. "Wait here," McGonagall told him as she entered the classroom. She reemerged with a boy, Oliver Wood, "Potter, this is Oliver Wood," she introduces.
"Wood, we've found you a seeker," Astrid said smiling at them both.
Later Cassie and Hope spot Fred and George split off from Ron and Harry. They head towards them and catch the end of the conversation, "but I've never played Quidditch. What if I make a fool of myself?" Harry asked worried as Hermione catches up.
"You won't make a fool of yourself," she assured him. Hope decides to jump into the conversation, "she's right."
"It's in your blood," Cassie continues.
"What do you mean?" Ron asked. Cassie and Hope motions for them to follow her. They approach a trophy case where Hope points to a plaque of past Quidditch players. Among them is her father, James Potter, as the seeker. "Whoa. Harry, you never told me that your father was a seeker too."
"I-I didn't know," Harry replied quietly. Cassie smiled looking at the plaque. Astrid Evergreen: Chaser. Cassie also took after her mother, she and Hope are chasers while Fred and George are beaters.
"I've heard he was pretty good. You'll do fine Harry," Cassie told him before walking away with Hope.
September 13th 1991
The next day Hope stood with Harry and Oliver Wood outside the castle. "Quidditch is easy enough to understand. Each team has seven players, 3 chasers, 2 beaters, 1 keeper and a seeker that's you. There are three kinds of balls. This one's called the Quaffle. Now, the chasers, like me and Cassie, handle the Quaffle and try to put it through one of those three hoops. The keeper, that's Oliver, defends the hoops. With us so far?" Hope explains to her brother.
"I think so. What are those?" he asked, pointing to two balls that had been chained down.
"You better take this," Hope told him handing him a small bat while Oliver releases one of the balls. It flies off as the three of them watch it go.
"Careful now, it's comin' back," Oliver warns as the ball comes flying back. Harry hits the ball with the bat sending it flying through two swords on a statue. "Eh, not bad, Potter, you'd make a fair beater...Uh-oh," The ball flies down, and Oliver grabs it, wriggling to get it back in the box. "Bludger. Nasty little buggers. But the only ball I want you to worry about is this...the Golden Snitch," Oliver said as he hands Harry the golden snitch.
"I like this ball," Harry commented.
"Ah, you like it now. Just wait. It's wicked fast and damn near impossible to see," Hope commented.
"What do I do with it?" Harry asked.
"You catch it ...before the other team's seeker. You catch this, the game is over. You catch this, Potter, and we win," Oliver replied as the snitch flies up into the air.
September 15th 1991
"I'm so bloody bored," Cassie complained as she and the twins sit in Snape's class.
"Miss Evergreen, is there a reason I hear your voice?" Snape snaps in his usual manner. Everyone in the class turns to look at her, "I was just expressing my boredom to my friends." The class giggles at her answer.
"I'll see you for detention," he simply replies and turns away from her. "Well at least he'll be helping you with breaking your mums record," Hope commented.
"You too, Miss Potter," Snape commanded without looking away from the board.
"Shit," Hope commented.
Chapter 4: 004
October 31st 1991
October 31st was a bittersweet time for Hope. She had always loved halloween but for the past two years it had become somewhat of a sad time for her. Ever since her first year there is a deep sadness that surrounds halloween for her. She had found out that October 31st was the anniversary of her parents death. For Hope this time was another reminder that she would never know her parents, that they would never be anything but the very vague memories she has.
Hope sat at the gryffindor table with the twins, Cassie, Lee and Angelina. They were all enjoying the feast of sweets and chocolate in front of them. Some time later into the feast Hope's mind wandered to her best friend, Cassie. Hope had recently been told what exactly happened to her parents, how they died. Today was hard for Hope but she knew it was also hard for Cassie. She knew that she lost her parents on this night many years ago but she also knew that Cassie lost her father too, just not in the same way.
Just like Hope, Cassie had been thinking of what happened all those years ago. She wondered what her father was like before the war, before he was crazy. She remembered that she used to ask her mother what had happened to her father all the time and her mother used to tell her that she would find out when she was older. Then one day during second year her mother told her everything. She remembered crying at the thought of what her father had done. After that day she dreaded the day Hope found out about it. She was afraid she would hate her. But of course they were best friends, they wouldn't allow that to happen.
"You two are quiet," Lee remarked looking at Cassie and Hope. The two girls shared a glance knowing what the other was thinking about.
"You complaining? You usually want us to be quiet," Cassie said back teasingly.
"Yeah, if you want us to talk we could talk about your little crush," Hope teased with a smirk. Lee's eyes widened, he picked up a small jelly sweet and threw it at her head. The sweet bounced off of her allowing her to catch it and swiftly eat it. Her friends laughed at her display but also Lee's embarrassed look.
"And just who do you have a crush on, Lee?" George teased. Lee glared playfully at Hope, "you said you wouldn't say anything."
"I did, but I only said that I wouldn't say a name. Just people knowing that you have a crush on someone is enough to embarrass you," she replied sweetly. Before the conversation could continue the doors to the great hall slammed open and Professor Quirrell came running in.
"Troll in the dungeon! T-trooll in the dungeon!" he screams causing the hall to fall into silence, "thought you ought to know," he finishes before completely passing out.
The hall is completely silent for a moment before everyone panics, running around screaming. Astrid looks to her daughter from the teachers table at the front and almost bursts out laughing when she sees what he daughter is doing. Instead of panicking, her and Hope are both grabbing as many sweets as they can and stuffing them into their robes.
"SILENCE!" Dumbledore bellows causing everyone to freeze. "Everyone will please, not panic. Now, Prefects will lead their houses back to the dormitories. Teachers will follow me to the dungeons." The house prefects begin leading their houses out of the hall while the teachers quickly follow Dumbledore to the dungeons.
Percy Weasley leads his house back towards the dormitories. Harry and Ron follow closely through the corridors, "how could a troll get in?" Harry asks puzzled.
"Not by itself. Trolls are really stupid. Probably people playing jokes," Ron replied when suddenly Harry pulls him aside, "what?"
"Hermione! She doesn't know!" he replied, panicked. The two run off down the corridors. They start running down the hall when a grunting noise stops them. Harry pulls Ron into a doorway where they watch as a large troll stomps into a room. "He's going into the girl's bathroom!" Harry exclaims realising that Hermione was supposedly in there.
In the bathroom, Hermione emerges from one of the stalls wiping her eyes. Something out of the corner of her eye causes her to stop in her tracks. She glances up to see a troll standing above her. Scared, she backs up into the stall she came from. The troll raises its club and smashes the top of the stalls causing Hermione to scream just as Harry and Ron come bursting in. "Hermione, move!" Harry yells while Hermione screams for help.
"Hey, pea brain!" Ron yells in order to distract it. The two boys throw wood at the troll when one piece hits it on the head. Hermione escapes from the stall to the sinks. The troll spots her and goes to smash her but it hits the sink barely missing her causing Harry to cringe. Harry pulls out his wand and runs forward grabbing the troll's club. The club is lifted causing Harry to go up with it. He eventually lands on the troll's head. He gets hurled back and forth causing his wand to end up in the troll's nose.
"Ew," Ron commented.
Eventually Harry gets down to the ground, "do something," Harry demanded pleadingly while ducking a swipe of the club.
"What?" Ron questions with wide eyes.
"Anything! Hurry up!"
Ron grabs his wand. Under the sink, Hermione waves her hand around, "swish and flick," she commanded.
"Wingardium Leviosa!" Ron yelled, the club is lifted out of the troll's hand and hovers above its head causing it to look up confused. The club crashes back down onto the troll's head causing it to sway and come crashing down completely.
"Is it....dead?" Hermione questions as she cautiously approaches.
"I don't think so. Just knocked out," Harry replies pulling his wand out of the troll's nose. "Ew. troll bogies," he comments when he sees the end of the wand. Suddenly, Snape, Astrid, McGonagall and Quirrell come into the bathroom.
"Oh my goodness! Explain yourselves, both of you!" McGonagall commands the two boys. They both look to each other trying to think of something.
"It was my fault, Professor McGonagall," Hermione admits causing the others to gape at her shocked.
"I went looking for the troll. I'd read about them and thought I could handle it. But I was wrong. If Harry and Ron hadn't come and found me...I'd probably be dead," she explains. Astrid quickly hides her smile as she recognises that she's covering for them.
"Be that as it may...it was an extremely foolish thing to do. I would have expected more rational behaviour on your part, Ms. Granger. 5 points will be taken from Gryffindor for your serious lack of judgment. As for you two gentlemen I just hope you realize how fortunate you are. Not many students could take on a full grown mountain troll and live to tell the tale. 5 points...will be awarded to each of you. For sheer dumb luck," McGonagall replied before exiting the bathroom with Snape.
"Perhaps you ought to go...M-might wake up...heh," Quirrell told them. The trio leave the bathrooms with Astrid behind them.
"You three should get back," Astrid told them with a smile before walking off down the corridor.
Chapter 5: 005
November 9th 1991
As November rolls around everyone is preparing for the first quidditch game of the season; Gryffindor Vs. Slytherin. Harry had been having private practices with Wood and his sister, he was good but he was still a ball of nerves when the first game rolls around. He couldn't eat, he felt sick just thinking about it as he sat in the great hall with Ron and Hermione. "Take a bit of toast, mate, go on," Ron encourages when he notices Harry is not eating.
"Ron's right, Harry. You're gonna need your strength today," Hermione added.
"I'm not hungry."
Suddenly Snape appeared behind him, "good luck today, Potter. Then again, now that you've proven yourself against a troll, a little game of Quidditch should be easy work for you...even if it is against Slytherin." The trio roll their eyes being used to Snape now. Snape walks away limping towards the front table while they continue their conversation. Harry shares his theory about Snape and Fluffy, the three headed dog.
Meanwhile, Hope, Cassie and the twins are heading to the great hall buzzing with excitement about the first match of the season. "We have to win. Minnie will kill us if we don't," Cassie said laughing as they walk.
"How come you and Hope are the only ones that can get away with calling McGonagall 'Minnie'?" George asked.
"Well, I grew up around her and the other teachers. She used to babysit me when mum was busy," Cassie explained. When Astrid began working at the school McGonagall grew quite attached to small child who often followed her around. Cassie smiles lightly at the memory of her watching Minnie do magic, conjuring small animals that would dance around the room and fade away.
"That explains you. What about Hope?" Fred continues causing Cassie and Hope to share a look between them. No one knew why except those two. During second year on halloween Hope had a small breakdown thinking of her parents. Minnie had sat with her almost all night while she cried, she had comforted her when she needed it the most. Hope had soon started calling her Minnie, for some reason it comforted her and made her feel better.
Hope shrugs, "guess she just likes me."
The twins share a look, they knew that the two girls knew the real reason but they didn't push it knowing they would have told them if they wanted to.
As they enter the great hall Hope spots her brother and his friends sitting further down the table. She leaves her friends for a moment to see her brother, "how are you feeling about the upcoming game?"
"Terrified," he states.
Hope smiles softly, "you'll be fine."
Before anyone can say anything an owl screeches. The four of them soon notice that it's Hedwig, Harry's owl. She swoops down dropping a large parcel in front of Harry. "Bit early for mail, isn't it?" Hermione comments.
"Open it," Hope encourages him. Ron helps Harry rip the paper off to reveal a broomstick. "It's a broomstick!" Harry states in awe.
"That's not just any broomstick, Harry. It's a Nimbus 2000!" Ron informs him shocked. "But who....?" Harry's question is cut off when he notices Astrid up at the head table, stroking Hedwig. She smiles at Harry when he nods in thanks. Hope looks up and smiles fondly at her godmother before leaving her brother and heading to her friends.
By eleven o'clock the whole school was seemingly in the tall stands surrounding the quidditch pitch. Meanwhile in the changing rooms the team changed into their scarlet uniform. Wood cleared his throat for silence, "ok, men."
"And women," Hope and Cassie reminded him with an eyeroll.
"And women," he agrees, "this is it."
"The big one," Fred added.
"The one we've all been waiting for," George continued.
"We know all of his speeches by heart," Hope informs her brother slightly amused.
"Shut up, you four," Wood reprimands, "this is the best team Gryffindor's had in years. We're going to win. I know it."
The gryffindor team march towards the starting gate and stop behind the closed double door. "Scared, Harry?" Wood asked.
"A little bit."
"That's all right. I felt the same way before my first game," Wood reassured him.
"Er, I don't really remember. I took a bludger to the head 2 minutes in. Woke up in the hospital a week later," wood replied, not so reassuringly causing Harry to gulp as they mount their brooms. They fly out onto the enormous pitch where they hear Lee Jordan commentating from a tower.
"Hello, and welcome to Hogwarts' first game of the season! Today's game Slytherin versus Gryffindor!"
The players position themselves in a circle as Madam Hooch steps out below them.
"The players take their positions as Madam Hooch steps out onto the field to begin the game."
"Now, I want a nice clean game...from all of you," Hooch said sternly, specifically looking to the Slytherin team. She kicks the trunk, and the bludgers zoom out.
"The bludgers are up...followed by the Golden Snitch. Remember, the snitch is worth 150 points. The seeker who catches the Snitch ends the game."
"The quaffle is released....and the game begins."
"And the quaffle is immediately taken by Hope Potter of Gryffindor - what an excellent chaser that girl is, and quite attractive too...." Hope smiles when she hears him.
"And she's really belting along up there, a neat pass to Cassandra Evergreen - a long time friend of Hope's - over to Angelina Johnson and - no, Slytherin have taken the quaffle and off he goes - Flint flying like an eagle up there - he's going to sc.... No, stopped by an excellent move by gryffindor keeper Wood and gryffindor takes the quaffle - that's chaser Angelina Johnson of gryffindor there, nice dive around Flint, off up the field and - OUCH - that must have hurt, hit in the back of the head by a bludger - quaffle taken by Slytherin - that's Adrian Pucey speeding off towards the goalposts, but blocked by a second bludger - sent his way by Fred or George Weasley, can't tell which - nice play by the Gryffindor beater, anyway, and Hope Potter back in possession of the quaffle, a clear field ahead and off she goes - she's really flying - dodges a speeding bludger - the goalposts are ahead - come on, now, Hope - keeper Bletchley dives - misses - GRYFFINDOR SCORES."
A mixture of cheers and moans filled the air. Further up in the air Harry sat watching for the snitch to appear. The game gets under way again.
"Slytherin in possession," Lee Jordan was saying. "Chaser Pucey ducks two bludgers, two weasleys and chaser Cassandra and speeds towards the - wait a minute - was that the snitch?"
A murmur ran through the crowd as Adrian Pucey dropped the quaffle, too busy looking over his shoulder at the flash of gold that had just passed his ear. Harry saw it. He rushed towards it as did Slytherin seeker Terence Higgs. They raced towards it, Harry was faster.
A roar of rage cried out when Flint knocked Harry's broom out of control "foul!" Gryffindor screamed. Madam Hooch spoke angrily to Flint and then ordered a free shot for Gryffindor.
In the stands Lee Jordan was finding it hard not to take sides, "so - after that obvious and disgusting bit of cheating...."
"Jordan!" McGonagall growled.
"I mean, that open and revolting foul...."
"Jordan, I'm warning you...."
"All right, all right. Flint nearly kills the gryffindor seeker which could happen to anyone, I'm sure, so a penalty to gryffindor, taken by Cassandra, who pulls it away, no trouble, and we continue play, gryffindor still in possession."
Harry's broom was out of control, violently zigzagging through the air. Soon his broom returns to normal. Harry rams the Slytherin Seeker, then is butted out. He returns, smashing the Seeker again as the Snitch dives. The boys follow, but they approach the ground quickly. The Slytherin Seeker backs out, and Harry pulls up his broom as he follows the Snitch, feet above the ground. Harry stands up, and steps forward, trying to grab the ball. He goes too far, and topples off the broom with a yelp, tumbling on the ground. He gets up and lurches. The crowd gasps.
"Looks like he's gonna be sick," Hagrid comments up in the stands. Suddenly Harry lurches and coughs up the snitch.
"He's got the snitch! Harry Potter receives 150 points for catching the snitch!" Lee Jordan reports happily.
"Gryffindor win!" Hooch reports causing cheers to erupt from the Gryffindor stand. Astrid and McGonagall smile happily at the outcome both having been cheering on Gryffindor not Slytherin.
Chapter 6: 006
November 13th 1991
"Miss Potter!" a voice yelled from behind her causing her to mutter a quick 'shit' under her breath. She reluctantly turns to the familiar voice sighing.
"Yes Professor Snape?" she questions with a sweet smile. He narrows his eyes annoyed before glaring at her.
"Is there a reason you are not in your dorm?"
"Well Professor, I couldn't sleep so I thought I would go for a walk, see if I run into my favourite Professor and quickly head back to bed," she replied smirking as she silently counts down from 20 in her head. Snape watches her unimpressed. 20 seconds later a small explosion from the toilets near the Slytherin common room causes him to turn towards the noise. Seeing the opportunity Hope does what and sane person would and runs.
Outside the Gryffindor common room the twins and Cassie wait for Hope to arrive, "you think she was caught?" George wonders.
"Probably. If she's not back yet she's most likely been caught. Check the map," Fred replies. Cassie pulls out the marauder's map that the four had stole from Filch their first year.
"Shit," she mutters when she notices Snape following Hope quickly through the castle. The twins look at the map and quickly do the same just as Hope runs up to them and pushes them back into the common room before Snape can turn the corner and see them.
Once inside they all burst out laughing, blowing up the main toilets near the Slytherin common room was worth the detentions they would most likely receive.
November 16th 1991
On Saturday evening the Gryffindor common room is mainly quiet while groups of friends talk quietly. Cassandra moves to the couch flopping down and resting her legs on George who raises an amused eyebrow, "do you mind?"
"No, of course I don't," she replies sarcastically. Hope and Fred chuckle from the chairs opposite them while George smiles shaking his head. Suddenly a scream flows down from the girls rooms causing Hope and Cassie to reach over and high five each other. Fellow third year Emma Stoddart runs down stairs and out of the common room while she panics over her mysteriously red dyed hair.
"Was that you two?" Fred asks not really needing an answer.
"Yep," the two girls reply in unison. The twins can't help but laugh as Emma storms back into the common room with two of her friends trying to calm her down. "Something funny?" Emma fumes at the twins causing Cassie and Hope to try holding in a smile.
"No, of course not," Fred replies smirking.
"Was this you two?" she asked angrily as she motions to her hair.
"No," he replies.
"Of course not, why would we...." George continues.
"Do this? Honest, it wasn't us...." Fred adds.
"Not this time," they continue in unison. Emma huffs angrily before storming away back up to her room. The four of them automatically burst out laughing.
"Thank you, Astrid," a girl calls to said woman as she leaves her office, Astrid sighed amused by what the girl wanted to talk about. She closes her office door and heads to sit down but a knock at the door stops her. Once she sees who was at the door she freezes slightly before snapping back to reality. "What can I do for you?" she asks the boy that resembled her brother politely as she moves to allow him into her office.
"Uhh....at the quidditch game I heard Cassandra's last name and then I heard you were her mother and I was wondering if you're....well my dad once told me he had a sister he didn't talk to and I was wondering if you're...." Aaron rambles nervously. Astrid sighed sadly, she knew he would come to her eventually.
"If I'm his sister?" she cuts him off softly. He nods slightly, "I am. But Aaron don't say anything to your father or grandfather. We don't get along very well, not anymore."
"That's a long story and not one you need to concern yourself with," she replies kindly. He sighs sadly before looking back up at her, "do you think you'll ever talk to them again?"
"I don't know."
Chapter 7: 007
December 14th 1991
"That was definitely worth the detentions," Cassie laughed as her, Hope and the twins walked back through the castle. They had been caught bewitching snowballs to follow Quirrell around, bouncing off the back of his turban.
"Did you see his face?" George laughed. "It was hilarious," Fred finished.
The four friends laughed and pushed each other down the corridors as the headed towards the great hall. They couldn't wait for the holidays to start, no one could. It would be the first christmas holiday the four of them had spent together. The Weasley's were visiting Charlie in Romania, leaving Fred, George, Percy and Ron at Hogwarts. Hope wasn't going home this year, she only ever went home for Harry but he was here now so she didn't have to. Cassie always spent her Christmases at Hogwarts, her and her mother didn't have any other family members to see anymore.
"Ever since you mentioned Nicholas Flamel we've been trying to find out who he is," they overheard Harry say. Cassie and Hope glance to Harry, Ron and Hermione talking to Hagrid.
"You what?" Hagrid exclaims shocked. "Listen here - I've told yeh - drop it. It's nothing to you what that dog's guardin'"
The two girls glance at each other as the twins goof around, they know exactly what Fluffy's guarding. They aren't meant to know. Cassie overheard her mother talking about it with Dumbledore and then told Hope.
Hope sighs quietly, she knows her brother and his friends won't let it go. They'll keep looking and get into trouble.
"Hope? Why is you brother and our brother so interested in Nicholas Flamel?" George asks wrapping his arm around her shoulders. Hope sighs sharing a look with Cassie, "they want to know what's been guarded on the third floor. Hagrid must have let Nicholas Flamel's name slip to them."
"You two know what it is, don't you?" Fred asks after noticing the two girls share a look and knowing that if anyone knew it would be them. Hope looks around for anyone that could overhear them, she pulls them off to the side where no one could hear them.
"Nicholas Flamel is an alchemist. He's the only known maker of the Philosopher's stone," Cassie tells them. Finally, realisation dawns on the twins. "And that's what's on the third floor," both twins state understanding what Cassie was telling them.
"Yeah. And for some reason those three really want to know what it is," Hope replies.
December 23rd 1991
Once the holidays roll around there's only very few students left behind since everyone else had went home. Angelina and Lee had went home leaving Hope and Cassie with the twins who had an unusual amount of energy to burn. "You two are more hyper than usual and...." Cassie starts as she watches the twins jumping around in the corridor. "....That's saying something," Hope finishes, they had picked up the habit of finishing each other's sentences from the twins.
"Because it's almost christmas," both twins reply excitedly causing the two girls to laugh.
"Well, I see you two are excited," Astrid states walking up to them. Cassie smiles, "hi Mum."
"Hi Astrid," Hope greets. Astrid smiles at the two girls, when the two became friends Astrid was excited to have the chance to know her goddaughter. To Hope, Astrid had become a much wanted mother figure in her life, a figure that she never had before.
"I need something off the four of you, something I know you have," Astrid states looking at all four of them. She had spotted what she needed as she approached them, it was sticking out of her daughter's coat pocket. "What is it?" Hope asks. Astrid smiles as she reaches for Cassie's coat pocket and pulls out the paper making sure no one was around. "How'd you know I had it?" Cassie asks with a smile. Astrid simply taps her nose as a way of saying 'I have my ways'. The twins watch on surprised that Astrid had known about it.
"I am curious to know where you found it. It had been lost my last year here," Astrid comments.
"Filch's office," both Hope and Cassie reply. "Ah, of course he had it," Astrid comments pulling out her wand. "I solemnly swear I am up to no good."
The twins watch on in amazement, they hadn't expected her to know about the Marauders map. They didn't even know who the Marauders were, Cassie and Hope hadn't told them yet. They want the twins to figure it out themselves, purely for their entertainment. Astrid smiles as she watches Snape enter his office. Seconds later a bang echoed through the corridors followed by an angry scream and the laughter of the students that didn't go home for the holidays. "Mischief managed."
Suddenly Snape storms over the crossroads of the four corridors in front of them. All four burst out laughing when they see him. His hair was dyed pink and his skin had a blue tinge to it. Cassie looks to her mother, "was that you?"
Astrid smirks, "of course not. Why would I ever do that?" She hands Hope the map before walking off leaving the group of four in fits of laughter.
December 25th 1991
Christmas day. Fred and George were the first awake closely followed by Hope and Cassie. Under the tree in the common room presents were piled on the floor. Knowing what they were like most of the presents were something that had the potential to be used in one of their pranks. Of course each of them had received their annual Weasley style jumpers from Molly. Astrid would be giving them their presents later. After about an hour the twins and Cassie decided to go out into the snow while Hope waited for her brother to wake up.
Ron was the first out of the two to wake, he was almost jumping with excitement when he saw the presents. "Merry Christmas, Hope," he greets when he notices her curled up on the couch. "Merry Christmas, Ron."
Seconds later Harry comes down, he looks to his pile of presents on the floor amazed. Ron probably didn't understand why he was so amazed. It was more than he'd ever gotten for christmas. "Merry Christmas," Harry states hugging his sister.
Harry picked up the top parcel. It was wrapped in thick brown paper and scrawled across it was 'To Harry, From Hagrid'. Inside was a roughly cut wooden flute. The second present was small. Harry and Hope share a look knowing exactly who it was off. The note read, 'We received your message and enclose your christmas present. From Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia.' A fifty pence was taped to the note. "That's friendly," Harry comments setting the coin aside. He didn't want it, he wouldn't use it.
Ron, however, was fascinated by it.
"Keep it," Harry tells him. Hope smiles and passes Harry a neatly wrapped present from her. Harry smiles and rips off the paper. Inside was a picture in a frame of Harry, Hope, Cassie, Hermione, Ron and the twins. They had taken it near the beginning of the year. Harry smiles softly and thanks his sister. He'd never really had friends or people who care about him.
The next present made Ron groan slightly. "I think I know who that one's from," Ron states, pointing at the lumpy present. "My Mum. I told her you didn't expect any presents and - oh, no," he groans, "she's made you a Weasley jumper."
Hope laughs, "don't worry. I always get one too." Just then the two boys notice she's wearing a dark purple jumper with a H knitted into it.
The last present was unwrapped and something fluid and silvery grey went slithering to the floor. Hope smiles knowing exactly what it was and who sent it. "I know what that is. They're really rare," Ron gasped. "It's an invisibility cloak," he states.
"Go on. Try it on," Hope encourages with a smile. Harry drapes the cloak on and looks down in amazement seeing that his body had disappeared. "Might want to hide that. If Fred and George spot that they'll never leave you alone," she comments knowing that the cloak could cause a lot of trouble in the twins' hands. Harry sets it aside just as he pick up a note that had fallen out.
'Your father left this in my possession before he died. It is time it was returned to you. Use it well. A very Merry Christmas to you.'
There was no signature.
Before anyone could say anything the door was flung open and Fred, George and Cassie bounded in. "Merry Christmas."
"Hey, look - Harry's got a Weasley jumper too!"
The twins were wearing blue jumpers. Each had a large yellow 'F' or 'G' on it. Cassie was wearing a navy blue jumper with a white 'C' on it.
"Harry's is better than ours though," Fred whines playfully, holding up Harry's jumper. "So's Cassie and Hope's. She obviously makes more of an effort if you're not family."
"Why aren't you wearing your's, Ron?" George demands. "Come on, get it on, they're lovely and warm."
Cassie and Hope watch as Ron groans forcing his maroon jumper on before Percy arrives to see what the noise was about. They watch on amused as the twins try and force a jumper over Percy's head. They then frog-marched him out of the common room, holding his arms to prevent him from removing his jumper and escaping to the prefects table.
Chapter 8: 008
December 25th 1991
At about 11:30, after everyone went to bed, Hope sneaks off to the kitchen for a late night snack. On her way back to the common room she spots her brother running down the corridor, his feet poking out of his invisibility cloak. The sound of Snape, Quirrell and Filch snaps her into action. She heads to where she saw her brother go and ducks under the cloak, effectively almost giving Harry a heart attack. She motions for him to be quiet as they watch the three teachers dart off.
Harry pulls Hope off into a seemingly empty room. They pull off the cloak. Harry heads towards the large mirror in the center of the room, Hope follows behind him. "Mum? Dad?" Harry whispers. Hope smiles softly knowing what the mirror of the erised does.
When Hope looks in the mirror she sees both her parents smiling back. Her mother stands by her side with her hand on her shoulder while her father stands behind Harry. To her left Astrid and Cassie stand and beside them the twins.
Hope closes her eyes silently wishing her parents were still alive. She stares into her father's eyes, eyes that are so much like her own. Her eyes then briefly flick to her mother.
"Come on, we should go," Hope whispers to her brother as she guides him out of the room and back to the common room. They both walk back in silence so they don't get caught.
Once they reach the common room Harry stops and looks up at his sister, "did you see them too?"
Hope sighs, "I did. Get some sleep Harry." She smiles softly before heading up to her bed.
December 29th 1991
"So ever since you two found the mirror of the erised Harry's been going back so he can see your Mum and Dad?" Cassie asks Hope as they both sit on their beds alone in their rooms.
"'Yeah he has, until Dumbledore caught him and moved the mirror," Hope replies.
"It's kinda sad, he doesn't have anyone who can be a parental figure in his life except you," Cassie replies sadly. "I mean, at least you have my Mum."
"I know. I wish I could tell him about Astrid."
"Yeah Mum wishes she could too." Cassie agrees. "But Dumbledore thinks it's best that he not know just yet," she adds. The two girls fall into silence for a minute.
Astrid had wanted to tell Harry who she was the second he arrived at Hogwarts but Dumbledore wouldn't allow her to. They have no other choice but to trust that Dumbledore knows what he is doing.
"I heard that Aaron had figured out who you were after the Quidditch match and confronted you about it," Minerva states curiously at she and Astrid sit in her office.
"He did. I told him to not say anything to Magnus or my father. The last thing I need is them two getting on to me about it," Astrid replies after taking a sip of her tea.
Minerva sighs sadly in reply, she has never thought it fair that they refused to talk to her over what had happened all those years ago. "How long has it been since you talked to them?"
"About ten years," she replies with a sigh. "I passed them once at Diagon Alley a few years back. They barely even spared a glance."
"They'll come around one day. They'll realise that treating you like this is not fair," Minerva states reassuringly.
Minerva smiles the girl that was once so much trouble in the past. She had watched this girl grow through her teen years and Minerva couldn't be more proud of who she had become. The old professor would never admit it out loud but the Marauders had always been some of her favorite students.
The group of five had always been there to make her smile when she needed something to cheer her up in the past. Sirius Black's betrayal had been quite the shock for the professor, she had seen Sirius and James as two inseparable brothers. Sirius Black had her stumped really. She had no idea why he would betray some of his best friends leaving behind a wife and a daughter. It made no sense to her.
A sad smile the old professors lips as she thought of Cassandra. She had been there when the girl was born and one of the first people to hold her. She never imagined that a few years later the young girl would be losing her father.
She had been the same with Hope. Minerva's heart had dropped when she heard about James and Lily, she had worried herself sick thinking about Harry and Hope and how they would grow up without any parents. Seeing Hope walk through the doors to the great hall all those years later had made the professor's heart lift slightly. The heavy weight that hung over her heart all those years was suddenly lifted when she saw that both Harry and Hope were okay after all that time.
December 31st 1991
New year parties had raged all throughout the castle all night and into early morning. The students that hadn't gone home for the holidays celebrated the start of a new year by throwing parties in their common rooms. Even the teachers had their own little get together, though theirs involved much more alcohol than the student parties.
Astrid knew. She knew that drinking so much fire whiskey was a bad idea but her drunk self decided to ignore any boundaries and drink the bottle like it was a bottle of water. She'd regret it in the morning when she woke up with a raging hangover but at this point in time, she didn't care.
At the end of the night Minerva had to escort a very drunk Astrid to her cosy living quarters without anyone else noticing.
As it turned out it wasn't the easiest task getting back to Astrid's room even with help, though it was quite entertaining when they had the get up the stairs. It was bad enough that the stairs moved anyway but to have moving stairs when she could barely see straight was something else for Astrid. Minerva wasn't much help as she had resorted to laughing instead of helping.
But finally, after about an hour, Astrid had made it safely to her bed.
Chapter 9: 009
March 24th 1992
A blaring foghorn is what Cassie woke up to in the morning, courtesy of her best friend, Hope. The two best friends walked quickly to the great hall to meet the twins, Angelina and Lee. "Happy Birthday!" Hope, the Twins, Angelina and Lee exclaim as Hope and Cassie sat down.
"Thank you," Cassie replies smiling. At the teacher tables Dumbledore smiles flicking his wrist in the direction of the Gryffindor tables. In front of the group of friends a chocolate cake with red and yellow sprinkles and icing appears. Cassie looks up to see Dumbledore smiling at her, she smiles back politely and then glances to her mother.
Astrid smiles at Cassie as she looks to her, they'll be seeing each other later.
"So what are we doing tonight?" Fred asks with a grin.
"Probably something that will land you four in detention," Lee comments.
"True," all four chorus together. Their other friends laugh knowing that whatever they do will provide them with a lot of entertainment.
"Hey Mum," Cassie calls out as she enters her mother's office and sits down. Astrid smiles,
"So, I have two presents for you. The first is this," Astrid states pulling out a medium sized trophy with an inscribed plaque. Cassie laughed as she read it out, "Cassandra Evergreen. For beating the record for the most amount of detentions in a year and the year's not even over yet."
"And the second one it this," Astrid states handing her daughter a small black box. Cassie opens the box to find a necklace with a silver coin-shaped pendant and red crystal in the middle. "It's beautiful," Cassie comments. Astrid smiles taking the necklace out of the box and putting it around Cassie's neck.
Astrid smiles sadly, "your father gave me that necklace back in fifth year. I know what he did was horrible but I want you to remember that he wasn't always the way he turned out. He was once a good person."
Cassie smiles sadly at her mother, her father has always been somewhat of a sore point for her mother. Cassie stands up and hugs her mother, "thank you."
"Come on Cassie. We have a prank to set up," George exclaims throwing his arm over Cassie's shoulder. Cassie grins as they walk down the corridor in the dungeons. "So what exactly do you have planned?" Cassie asks, Hope and the twins decided that they were going to surprise her with what they were doing.
George smiles mischievously, "you'll see when we get there."
The two friends head down the corridor where they find Hope and Fred waiting in front of a storage cupboard. "So, what are we doing?" Cassie asks.
Her three friends exchange grins before Hope opens the door to the cupboard, Cassie looks in and laughs. Inside were ten small piglets. "We are going to give the Slytherins a surprise," Fred states.
"Okay, question how are we doing this?" Cassie asks.
"Well that's where you come in. We need someone to open the door to the slytherin common room," Hope states knowing that if anyone knows the password it would be Cassie.
Cassie smirks and motions for them to follow her. Hope and the twins follow her down the corridor with the ten piglets in tow. When they reach the door Cassie stands in front of it while the other three stand near the side it will open getting ready to shove the piglets through. Cassie sighs, "Pureblood."
The door opens and the four friends release the piglets into the common room. Once they were all through Hope slams the door closed. Seconds later screams flow out from the common room sending the four into bursts of uncontrolled laughter.
Later the four sit in their own common room still laughing. "So how long are you on detentions?" Lee asks as he and Angelina sit with their friends. As they made their escape they were caught by Snape who gave them all detentions.
"A month," Cassie replies as she calms herself down. "But it was definitely worth it," Hope adds.
"How have you four not been expelled yet?" Angelina asks playfully.
"Because they love us," all four of them reply simultaneously causing them to burst out laughing. Lee and Angelina share amused looks before they join in laughing.
"This has got to have been one of the best birthday's i've had so far," Cassie comments causing her friends to smile. "Thank you. All of you, for making this day for me."
Chapter 10: 010
April 1st 1992
"Cassie?" a voice called out as the young girl is shook in an attempt to wake her. Cassie simply groaned and pulled her blanket over her head. Suddenly a shrill whistle echoed in her ear causing her to shoot up out of bed. She looks over to see Hope looking down at her smirking.
"What the fuck...." Cassie mumbles before Hope cuts her off.
"Happy April Fools," Hope said with an excited grin. Cassie grins and hops up out of her bed, she quickly changes out of her pyjamas. Both girls run excitedly out of their dorm and into the common room, ignoring all of the weary glances sent their way. It's April Fools day. Everybody will be watching their back today, especially around those two and the twins.
When they reach the common room they spot the twins with their backs turned towards them. After sharing a quick glance with each other the two girls run and jump onto the twins backs, Cassie on George's and Hope on Fred's. "Happy Birthday!" the girls exclaim.
"We have so much to do," Cassie states, worrying anyone else who heard.
It's late in the afternoon when the four troublemakers are sneaking down the corridor heading to the dungeons. They had spent the day terrorising the students and teachers with endless pranks and jokes. Now they were setting up their last prank of the day. "Come on," Cassie whispered seeing a clear corridor as she peeked around the corner. Hope and the twins follow quietly making sure to be on the lookout for other people.
Quickly they reach their destination. Snape's office. Hope pulls out her wand and aims it at the door lock, "Alohomora," she muttered. The door pops open causing all four to exchange smirks. The twins enter the office first followed by Hope and then Cassie who pushes the door so it is only cracked open slightly. Each of them head to different areas of the room, their wands out and recite the spell.
"This is bloody fantastic," George commented resisting the urge to laugh. Cassie smirks amused, "come on, we have to go otherwise we'll get caught."
As the four exit the office and close the door, footsteps echo in the corridor. They quickly hid behind a wall making sure they were out of sight.
Professor Snape stalks quickly down the corridor heading for his office. He pauses at the door as if sensing something wasn't quite right. His blood boils angrily when he opens the door. His whole office was pink. His eyes narrow at the sound of someone stifling their laughter, he turns to see the laughing quartet behind him. They instantly stop laughing and run, the smirk never leaving their faces.
The angry professor chases the group of students through the castle. Halfway down the first floor corridor Cassie and Hope had started a rendition of 'I Will Survive' by Gloria Gaynor. The two girls were singing loudly as the two boys laughed at their antics.
"Oh no, not I, I will survive. Oh, as long as I know how to love, I know I'll stay alive. I've got all my life to live," Cassie and Hope sing as they run past Astrid and McGonagall.
The two adults watch on amused as the group disappear out of sight. McGonagall sighs shaking her head, "you know, I vaguely remember you and James doing something similar back then," McGonagall comments. Astrid smirks remembering the day, she and James were running through the castle singing annoyingly as Remus, Sirius and Peter trailed behind laughing.
April 17th 1992
On the warm Friday afternoon Astrid and McGonagall are strolling through the courtyard when they catch part of a conversation between Cassie, Hope and the twins. "Can Thestrals see each other?" Fred asked causing the two adults to stop and think.
"Huh, I don't know," Hope replied with the same curiosity.
"They can't, can they? Wait, so if the parents lose their first baby, the get the ability to see the next ones. And the babies think that the food just appears out of nowhere...." Fred wondered.
"For the love of Godric. You two are bloody daft," George replied after he and Cassie share a look. There's a few moments of silence, "holy shit. Can they see each other?" she blurts out wide eyed after a minute.
"I know right," Hope commented.
Meanwhile Astrid and Minerva stare at each other trying to figure out the answer themselves. They share a look when the spot Dumbledore across the courtyard. "Albus," they both yell as they walk to him knowing that he had a better chance of knowing than anyone else.
Chapter 11: 011
May 9th 1992
"Where are you three going?" Hope asked when she spots her brother and his friends running towards Hagrid's hut. Her and Cassie had just left Astrid and were heading back to the castle. The trio freeze and look back to the older girls.
"To see Hagrid," Harry replied sheepishly. The two girls share a brief look knowing that they were up to something, they nod before replying, "we'll come with you."
The trio share a look but nod knowing they weren't getting out of it. The five of them head further down the path towards Hagrid's hut that stood at the edge of the forbidden forest. As they approached all five noticed that all of the curtains had been closed which was unusual as it wasn't even that dark yet. Cassie steps to the front and knocks on the wooden door. "Who is it?" Hagrid called as he opens the door. He quickly ushers them in and shuts the door.
It was hot inside, too hot. "Bloody hell," Hope muttered hating the heat.
"So, yeh wanted to ask me somethin'?" Hagrid asked as he serves some tea, the question mostly directed towards Harry, Ron and Hermione.
"Yes," Harry replied. There was no point beating around the bush. "We were wondering if you could tell us what's guarding the Philosopher's Stone apart from Fluffy."
Cassie, Hope and Hagrid frowned. The two girls look to one another wondering what exactly they were up to. Hagrid glances at the two girls knowing that they most likely knew something before replying to Harry's question.
"O' course I can't tell you," he told them. "Number one, I don't know myself. Number two, yeh know too much already, so I wouldn't tell yeh if I could. That stone's here for a good reason. It was almost stolen outta Gringotts - I suppose yeh've worked that one out an' all? Beats me how you even know about Fluffy."
"Oh, come on, Hagrid, you might not want to tell us, but you do know, you know everything that goes on around here," Hermione added in a warm, flattering tone. Hagrid's mouth twitched into a smile. "We only wondered who had done the guarding, really," she continues. "We wondered who Dumbledore had trusted enough to help him, apart from you."
Hagrid's heart swelled at her last words before giving in.
"Well, I don't suppose it could hurt to tell yeh that....let's see....he borrowed Fluffy from me....then some of the teachers did enchantments....Professor Sprout - Professor Flitwick - Professor McGonagall- Astrid of course -" he ticked them off on his fingers, "Professor Quirrell - and Dumbledore himself did something. Hang on i've forgotten someone. Oh, yeah, Professor Snape."
"Yeah - yer not still on about that are yeh?" Hagrid said. Cassie and Hope share a look knowing that it wasn't Snape trying to steal the stone, they just didn't know who.
"Yeah. Snape helped protect the stone, he's not about to try and steal it," Hope commented even though she knows that they most likely won't change their minds.
The trio glance at each other, all thinking the same thing. If Snape had been in on protecting the stone then he must know how the other teachers protected it. He probably knew everything - except, it seems, Quirrell's spell and how to get past Fluffy.
"You're the only one who knows how to get past Fluffy, aren't you, Hagrid?" Harry asked anxiously. "And you wouldn't tell anyone, would you? Not even the teachers?"
"Not a soul knows except me, Astrid an' Dumbledore," Hagrid replied proudly.
"Well that's something," Harry muttered quietly.
"Hagrid can we have a window open? I'm boiling," Cassie asked finally speaking up.
"Can't, Cassie, sorry," Hagrid replied as Hope notices him glance at the fire causing her to look too.
"Is that...." Hope starts when she gets a closer look in the fire. "Where did you get it Hagrid?" Ron asks once he realises what it is.
"Won it in a bet, last night. Tell yeh, think he was glad to get rid of it to be honest."
"What are you going to do with it once it's hatched though," Cassie asked turning her attention back to the man in question.
"Been doing some reading," he said pulling out a book. "I know how to take care of it. It's a rare type - a Norwegian Ridgeback."
"Hagrid you live in a wooden house," Hope told him bluntly. But Hagrid wasn't listening.
May 15th 1992
"My brain hurts," George complained as he, Fred, Cassie and Hope sit in the Gryffindor common room. "I hate revising."
"Me too. But we have to otherwise we won't pass our end of year exams," Cassie commented not looking up from the book in front of her.
"I'll never remember this," Fred complained, groaning, causing the two girls to roll their eyes.
"Okay, that's it, I'm done. I can't do this any longer," Hope said closing her book and then rubbing her eyes. Cassie groans slamming her book closed.
"I confess, I just spent about 30 minutes staring at the same page," Cassie confessed, fed up with revision. She sighed before laying back so her head was in George's lap causing him to look down at her raising an eyebrow. "Comfortable?" he asked sarcastically.
The next morning Cassie and Hope were sitting in the great hall eating breakfast while the twins were off doing God knows what. As they were sitting an owl dropped a note in front of them, a note that simply had the words, 'it's hatching' scrawled out on it. The two didn't have a lesson this morning so they decided to head straight to Hagrid's hut.
Cassie and Hope waited around for a while. In the meantime, Harry, Ron and Hermione showed up. Hagrid rushed them inside clearly excited. Not long later the egg began cracking and soon a small scaly dragon was hopping around the table. "Hagrid, how fast to Norwegian Ridgebacks grow, exactly?" Hermione asked as Hagrid plays around with the Dragon he had named Norbert.
Before Hagrid answers he pales as he stares at the window. "What's the matter?" Hope asked.
"Someone was lookin' through the gap in the curtains - it's a kid - he runnin' back up ter the school."
Harry jumps out of his seat, looking out of the window, just in time to catch a boy with bleach blonde hair running away. Malfoy.
Chapter 12: 012
May 18th 1992
Something about the smile lurking on Malfoy's face during the next week made Harry, Ron and Hermione very nervous. It even got to Cassie and Hope. The five of them spent their time trying to reason with Hagrid.
"Just let him go," Harry urges. "Set him free."
"I can't. He's too little. He'll die," Hagrid replied.
The dragon had grown three times in length in such a small period of time. They knew they had to do something fast. Hagrid could get in a lot of trouble if he was caught with a dragon.
"He really knows me now, watch. Norbert! Norbert! Where's Mummy?"
"He's lost his marbles," Ron muttered quietly.
"Hagrid," Hope speaks out loudly, "give it a fortnight and Norbert's going to be as long as your house. Malfoy could go to Dumbledore at any moment."
Hagrid bites his lip. "I....I know I can't keep him forever, but I can't just dump him, I can't."
Cassie suddenly turned to Ron, "Charlie."
"You're losing it too," Ron retorts. "I'm Ron, remember?"
"No - Charlie - your brother. He's studying dragons in Romania. We could send him Norbert. Charlie can take care of him them put him back into the wild," Cassie replied with an eye roll.
In the end, Hagrid agreed. That same night they sent an owl to Charlie asking for help.
May 22nd 1992
The clock in the Gryffindor common room chimed midnight when the portrait opened and Ron appeared, seemingly, out of nowhere. He had been down at Hagrid's hut helping him feed Norbert who was now eating rats by the crate.
"It bit me," Ron exclaimed. "I'm not going to be able to hold a quill for a week...."
Cassie and Hope rolled their eyes before standing. "We'll be right back. Just need to go see my Mum," Cassie said as the two girls move towards the portrait. Without hearing a reply they left the common room in search of Astrid.
About ten minutes later the two girls had found Astrid near her office. The older women rushed them in side knowing that if another teacher saw them she would have to give them a detention. "What can I do for you girls?" Astrid asked the two children.
"Nothing really. We just haven't seen you much this week," Hope replied.
"Yeah, sorry about that. With the exams approaching I haven't had much free time. Too busy helping people deal with their stress."
"Yeah, we figured as much which is why we decided to come to you now," Cassie replied with a smile. Astrid hums in reply as she puts a few papers in her desk draw.
"Has Hagrid figured out what he's going to do with Norbert yet?" Astrid asked knowing that Norbert had to go soon otherwise Hagrid would get in trouble.
"We sent a letter to Charlie Weasley in Romania. Still waiting for a reply but we'll probably end up sending Norbert there where he can be released back into the wild," Hope replied.
"Good. Not entirely sure where someone got the egg to begin with still. Norwegian Ridgebacks are pretty rare."
The two younger girls shrug, "said he won it in a bet with a stranger down at the pub," Cassie told her mother, also still wondering where exactly the egg came from.
"Harry, Ron and Hermione still haven't let the Snape thing go," Hope said looking up. "They still think he's trying to steal the stone."
"Honestly, a part of me wishes that he was," Astrid confesses. "If he was, he'd be dismissed from the school and I wouldn't have see his greasy head again."
The two girls laugh at her confession, it's no secret to them that Astrid still can't stand Snape, even after all these years. She mostly hates his incapability to let go of the past, he still holds a grudge against her and her friends and so he takes it out on their children, Cassie, Hope and Harry.
May 26th 1992
"It's too late to change the plan now," Hope told Hermione and Harry. "We haven't got time to send Charlie another owl and this could be our only chance to get rid of Norbert. We'll have to risk it."
"And we have got the invisibility cloak, Malfoy doesn't know about that," Harry added. Ron had ended up in the infirmary with the bite from Norbert. Malfoy had come just to laugh at him but had told Madame Pomfrey he needed to borrow Ron's book. A book with the letter from Charlie in.
Later that night the three of them headed down to Hagrid's hut. They were running late since they had to wait for Cassie to distract Peeves who was blocking their way to the Entrance Hall by playing a game of tennis against the wall.
Hagrid had packed Norbert into a large crate. "He's got lots o' rats and some brandy fer the journey," Hagrid said in a muffled voice. "And I've packed his teddy bear in case he gets lonely."
"Bye - bye, Norbert," Hagrid sobbed. "Mummy will never forget you."
The trio struggled to push the crate up all of the stairs while staying under the invisibility cloak. Sudden movement ahead of them caused them to stop and shrink back, almost forgetting that they were invisible.
Hope watched amused as Professor McGonagall had Malfoy by the ear. "Detention," she yelled. "And twenty points from Slytherin. Wandering around the school in the middle of the night, how dare you...."
"You don't understand, Professor, Harry Potter's coming - he's got a dragon...."
In the end McGonagall dragged Malfoy off to see Snape and the trio continued on, all the way up to the top of the highest tower. Finally they could throw off the cloak as they reached the top.
About ten minutes later Charlie's friends showed up to take Norbert. They rigged him in a harness so they could suspend him between the four of them. Soon the four of them left with Norbert.
The three headed back down the tower. "Well, well, well," Filch whispered as he loomed in the darkness, "we are in trouble."
They'd left the invisibility cloak on top of the tower.
Chapter 13: 013
May 30th 1992
"One hundred and fifty points lost," Hope said as she finishes telling Cassie and the Twins what had happened a few days ago. "She doesn't really bother taking points from us anymore, there's no point, we'd be out of points all together if she did."
"True," Cassie commented. "So your detention's tonight, right."
"Ah, you know what that means. Detention with Hagrid in the forbidden forest. I heard he was going out there tonight to do some jobs," Fred commented.
"Speaking of, I should go, I said I'd meet Harry, Hermione and Neville."
Hope skips off knowing that detention in the Forbidden Forest wasn't that bad. She didn't really mind going out there. "Come on you three," she called out when she spots Harry, Hermione and Neville.
"How are you so cheery?" Hermione asked noticing the bright smile.
"It's not that bad, really. It can be quite fun if you want it to be," Hope replied causing the other three to look at her as if she was crazy. The four of them met Filch at the Entrance Hall where Malfoy was waiting. They'd almost forgotten that he had a detention too.
"Follow me," Filch states as they start walking. "I bet you'll think twice about breaking a school rule again, won't you, eh?" he continues, leering at them. "Oh yes....hard work and pain are the best teachers if you ask me....it's just a pity they let the old punishments die out....hang you by you wrists from the ceiling for a few days, i've got the chains still in my office, keep them well oiled in case they're ever needed....Right off we go, and don't think of running off, now, it'll be worse if you do."
Hope could see the fear on their faces as they walked across the dark grounds. "There are so many unwanted images running through my head," she commented thinking about what Filch does in his spare time.
"Is that you, Filch? Hurry up, I want ter get started." Hope could see the relief on her brothers face when he heard Hagrid's voice. She wrapped her arm around her little brother's shoulders and smiled down at him as they walked closer.
"I suppose you think you'll be enjoying yourself with that oaf? Well, think again, boy - it's into the Forest you're going and i'm much mistaken if you'll come out in one piece," Filch said scaring the four younger students. Hope smiled reassuringly down at her brother, her arm still around his shoulders.
Filch's comment stopped Malfoy dead in his tracks. "The Forest?" he repeated. "We can't go in there at night - there's all sorts of things in there - werewolves, I heard."
Neville clutched the nearest robe sleeve, which happened to be Hope's, and made a choking sound.
"That's your outlook, isn't it?" Filch stares gleefully. "Should've thought of them werewolves before you got in trouble, shouldn't you?"
Hagrid came striding towards them, out of the dark with Fang at his heel and a crossbow over his shoulder.
In the forest, the group walks along a path to a tree. Hagrid stops, bends down and dips his fingers in a silver puddle. He pulls out his fingers and rubs them together.
"Hagrid, what's that?" Harry asked.
"What we're here for. See that? That's unicorn's blood, that is. I found one dead a few weeks ago. Now, this one's been injured bad by something. So, it's our job to find the poor beast. Neville, Hermione, you'll come with me. Hope go with those two," Hagrid said wanting someone with more experience with magic with the two.
"Okay. Then I get Fang!" Draco manages to bite out, scared.
"Fine. Just so you know, he's a bloody coward," Hagrid replied as they spit up. Hope leads the two younger students while Fang follows behind.
"You wait till my father hears about this. This is servant's stuff," Draco whined causing Hope to roll her eyes.
"If I didn't know better, Draco, I'd say you were scared," Harry retorted.
"Scared, Potter?!" Draco scoffed, a howl ripples through the trees, Draco paled. "Did you hear that? Come on, Fang. Scared."
The group approaches a flat ground with gnarled roots all over. Hope stops as Fang growls looking ahead.
"What is it?" Harry asked, Hope puts her hand up watching ahead. Up ahead, a cloaked figure is crouched over a dead unicorn, drinking its blood. The figure raises its head, silver blood dripping from its mouth. Harry gasped and grabbed his scar in pain.
A look of pure fear crosses Draco's face, he screams running away with Fang following him leaving Harry and Hope alone. The figure slides over the unicorn and rises. It advances towards Harry and Hope, who back up. Suddenly, there is the sound of hoofbeats. A figure leaps over the two and lands near the cloaked figure. A silver centaur, Firenze. It rears, and the cloaked figure retreats, flying away.
"Hope," he greets casually, knowing the girl from previous detentions. "Harry Potter, you must leave. You are known to many creatures here. The forest is not safe at this time. Especially for you."
"But what was that thing you saved us from?" Harry asks.
"A monstrous creature. It is a terrible crime to slay a unicorn. Drinking the blood of a unicorn will keep you alive even if you are an inch from death. But at a terrible price. You have slain something so pure that the moment the blood touches your lips, you will have a half-life. A cursed life," Firenze said cryptically.
"But who would choose such a life?"
"Can you think of no one?" Firenze replied. Hope realises what he is hinting at and gulps, hoping she is wrong.
"Do you mean to say...that that thing that killed the unicorn...that was drinking its blood...that was Voldemort?" Harry asked nervously. Hope glances at Firenze briefly knowing he won't give a straight answer.
"Do you know what is hidden in the school at this very moment?" Firenze asked causing Hope to look up to the sky in frustration not getting a straight answer. Mars is unusually bright tonight, she notes. She's always had quite the eye for astronomy.
"The Philosopher's Stone," Harry replied. Suddenly, a dog barks. Harry and Hope look around and sees Hagrid, Hermione, Neville and Draco appear.
"Harry! Hope!" Hermione called out.
"Hello there, Firenze. I see you've met our young Mr. Potter. You alright there, Harry, Hope?" Hagrid asks, the two nod.
"Harry and Hope Potter, this is where I leave you. You're safe now. Good luck," Firenze said before he galloped off.
Chapter 14: 014
May 31st 1992
"So Firenze saved you and Harry and then gave you a cryptic warning saying something was coming," Astrid summarised as Hope finished telling her everything that happened.
"Basically. Also, Mars was unusually bright last night too," Hope added randomly. Astrid hums, "the Centaurs are always reading the stars, they must have seen something in them."
"What if they're right? What is he is back?" Hope asked shrinking back slightly in fear at the thought of him coming back. Astrid lets out a breath moving around her desk, sitting on the edged and taking Hope's face in her hands.
"Then we'll figure this out together," Astrid reassured her before leaning forward kissing her head. She glanced at the clock noting the time, "you should get to your lesson," she told the girl gently. Hope nods, they both stand, before she leaves Hope hugs Astrid who kisses the top of her head.
Once Hope leaves Astrid lets out a loud sigh knowing that this was only the beginning. She leaves her office, locking the door, and heads for Dumbledore's office.
"Firenze believes someone is going to try and steal the stone, meaning the other Centaurs do too," Astrid commented as she sits in Dumbledore's office relaying everything Hope had told her.
"It would seem so," he replied thoughtfully. "And what do you think?"
"I think there's a real possibility that someone will," Astrid replied honestly. "Harry, Ron and Hermione seem to think it's Snape."
Dumbledore smiles remembering the feud that went on between the Marauders and Snape when they were younger. "Do you believe Professor Snape is trying to steal the stone?"
Astrid groans, "as much as I would like it to be him just to get rid of him, I don't. I'd put money on Quirrell being involved though. I'm pretty sure you would too."
"Severus and I have been suspicious of Professor Quirrell though we are not sure to what capacity he is involved," the old Professor replied.
"This is only the beginning, isn't it? It's only going to get worse from here," Astrid sighed.
June 4th 1992
Not even a week after Astrid and Dumbledore's conversation, Astrid calls Hope and Cassie to her office. Astrid looks up from the papers on her desk when someone enters the room. "What's up, Mum?" Cassie asked as the two girls sit down in front of the desk.
"I've been speaking to Dumbledore, he agrees that something is going to happen very soon," Astrid told them. "We need your help."
"What do you need?" Hope asked curiously.
"We need the two of you to stick by Harry and his friends. We're not saying to stick by them 24/7 but keep an eye on them when you can," Astrid said. "We also think someone is going to attempt to steal the stone soon and Harry is directly in the middle."
"Makes sense. He's knows that it involves Snape and Quirrell but they think that Snape is the one trying to steal it," Cassie commented.
"What do you think?"
"We think that Snape is involved but Quirrell is up to something," Hope replied. "That's what we think too," Astrid informs them.
"Okay, you can go now. Just keep an eye on them," Astrid smiled kindly. "I'll talk to you later."
The two girls leave the office. Astrid sighs sadly knowing that they are having to grow up too fast now. She knows that a war is approaching. She never wanted them to have to experience what she did but it looks like she has no choice now, something big is coming, something dark.
Chapter 15: 015
June 14th 1992
Hope and Cassie had spent the last few weeks watching Harry and his friends, making sure they didn't get into much trouble. And they didn't. Until now. Hope had followed the trio as they made their way towards the room that held Fluffy. They were under the invisibility cloak but it didn't matter, she knew where they were going. "Alohomora," Hermione muttered, the door creaks open allowing them to slip in followed by Hope, who they hadn't realised was there.
"Wait a minute...he's....Sleeping," Ron muttered shocked when they see Fluffy sleeping.
"Someone's already been here. they've put a spell on the harp," Hope said announcing her presence. The trio jump, clearly shocked.
"Snape," Harry muttered.
"Uh. It's got horrible breath!" Ron exclaimed in disgust. "We have to move its paw," Harry asked.
"Come on!" Harry encouraged as they grab the paw, which is blocking the door. "Okay. Push!" They strain and move it. Hope rolls her eyes and pops open the door. "I'll go first. Don't follow until I give you a sign. If something bad happens, get yourselves out...Does it seem a bit...quiet?
"The harp stopped playing," Hope told them looking up at Fluffy as drool from one head comes down on Ron's shoulder.
"Ew! Yuck! Ugh."
"Jump! Go!" Hope told them, they all jump through the trapdoor.
"Whoa. Lucky this plant-thing is here, really," Ron commented.
"Whoa!" Harry exclaims as the plant begins to move towards them. It ties them up tightly causing Hope to mutter, "shit."
"Stop moving, both of you," Hope told them as her and Hermione stop struggling.
"This is Devil's Snare. You have to relax. If you don't, it will only kill you faster," Hermione continues.
"Kill us faster?! Oh, now I can relax!" Ron panics.
Hermione and Hope share a look rolling their eyes as the plant pulls them down causing Ron and Harry to panic even more. Harry is the first to relax and is pulled down to where Hope and Hermione are.
"He's not relaxing, is he?" Hermione points out. "Apparently not," Harry replies.
"Uh! I remember reading something in Herbology. Um Devil's Snare, Devil's Scare, it's deadly fun...but will sulk in the sun! That's it! Devil's Snare hates sunlight!" Hermione realises causing Hope to pull out her wand.
"Lumos Solem." A beam of light shoots out. The Snare shrieks and recoils allowing Ron to fall below.
Ron stands up, "whew. Lucky we didn't panic!"
"Lucky Hermione pays attention in Herbology," Harry retorts. A sound off to the side distracts them. "What is that?" Hermione asks.
"I don't know. Sounds like wings," Hope commented walking forward towards the noise. They enter into a room filled with golden "birds."
"Curious. I've never seen birds like these," Hermione comments.
"They're not birds, they're keys. And I'll bet one of them fits that door," Harry guesses. They come upon a broomstick, suspended in the air.
"What's this all about?" Hermione wonders. Ron walks over to the lock and tries to open it with a spell. The door doesn't budge.
"Ugh! What're we going to do? There must be 1000 keys up there!" Hermione complained.
"We're looking for a big old fashioned one. Probably rusty like the handle," Hope concludes as she inspects the door.
"There! I see it! The one with the broken wing!" Harry points out and gazes at the suspended broom.
"What's wrong, Harry?" Hermione asked.
"It's too simple."
"Oh, go on, Harry! If Snape can catch it on that old broomstick, you can! You're the youngest seeker in a century!" Ron commented encouragingly
Harry nods and grabs the broom. All the keys suddenly go one direction, right at Harry. He climbs on, swiping at them.
"This complicates things a bit!" Ron commented. Harry pushes off into the air. He flies off, after the key. The others follow him. He finally grabs the key.
"Catch the key!"
He zooms by and throws the key to Hope, who catches it and heads for the lock while Harry distracts the other keys. She puts the key in the lock.
The door opens, and Hermione, Hope and Ron rush through, followed by Harry. They shut the door just as the keys slam up against it. They enter a dark room, with broken pieces all around it.
"I don't like this. I don't like this at all," Hermione states scared causing Hope to put a hand on her shoulder reassuringly.
"Where are we? A graveyard," Harry guesses.
This is no graveyard," Ron sighs. "It's a chessboard."
They walks out onto the marble board, flames light, illuminating the board showing the giant chess pieces.
"There's the door," Harry points out, they all move towards it. All except Hope, she stops knowing is won't be that easy. They walk across the board, towards the door. Suddenly, as they reach a line of pawns, the pawns bring up their swords.
"Now what do we do?" Hermione asks cluelessly.
"It's obvious, isn't it? We've got to play our way across the room. Alright. Harry, you take the Bishop's square. Hermione, you'll be the Queen's side castle. As for me, I'll be a knight," Ron commands. They all take their places except Hope who stands to the side observing.
"What happens now?" Hermione asked once they were all in place.
"Well, white moves first, and then...we play."
A pawn on the other side moves forward. Ron studies the game establishing his move.
"Ron, you don't suppose this is going to be like...real wizard's chess, do you?" Hermione asked in fear.
"You there! D-5!" Ron commands, a black pawn moves forward, diagonal to the white pawn. The white pawn raises its swords and smashes the black one. "Yes, Hermione, I think this is going to be exactly like wizard's chess!"
The game continues on for what feels like hours. Pieces smash each other, mini explosions echo through the room
"Castle to E-4!"
"Pawn to C-3!"
The Queen turns, and smashes a piece. The Queen turns again. Ron, Hope and Harry study the game.
"Wait a minute," Harry called out noticing what the next move will be.
"You understand right, Harry," Ron asks.
Hope nods understanding what is about to happen. "Once he make his move, the Queen will take him...then you'll be free to check the King."
"No, Ron! No!" Harry yelled in a panic.
"What is it?" Hermione asked, confused as to what's happening.
"He's going to sacrifice himself!" Harry told her.
"No, Ron, you can't! There must be another way!"
"There isn't. It's the only move left," Hope commented.
Ron turns to face Hermione, "do you want to stop Snape or not? Harry, it's you that has to go on. I know it. Not me, not Hermione, you and Hope. Knight...to H-3."
Ron's horse moves forward, slides and stops. "Check."
The Queen turns and advances. Ron breathes faster, clutching the steel reins. The Queen stops and smashes Ron's Knight causing him to go flying off the horse and landing on the floor, unconscious.
"RON!" Harry calls out as Hermione starts walking to him. "NO! Don't move! Don't forget, we're still playing." Hermione moves back. Harry walks diagonally in front of the King. "Checkmate."
The King's sword falls onto the ground, Harry breathes out and then the three run to Ron. They bend beside him. "Take care of Ron. Then, go to the owlery. Send a message to Dumbledore. Ron's right...we have to go on," Hope tells the girl, not willing to leave her brother.
"Be careful," she tells them sadly. Hope and Harry nodded, standing and walking away.
Chapter 16: 016
June 14th 1992
Harry and Hope walk down a long staircase to an empty room with pillars around it. The Mirror of Erised is in the middle of the room, and a man is standing before it. Quirrell. Harry yelps and grabs his scar causing Hope to glance at him.
“You? No. It can't be...Snape. He was the one….” Harry speaks.
“Yes. He does seem the type, doesn't he? Next to me, who would suspect, "p-p-poor s-stuttering Professor Quirrell?"
“B-but, that day, during the Quidditch Match, Snape tried to kill me,” Harry states confused.
“No, dear boy. I tried to kill you! And trust me, if Snape's cloak hadn't caught fire and broke my eye contact, I would have succeeded. Even with Snape muttering his little counter-curse.”
“Snape was trying to...save me?”
“Shocking isn’t it?” Hope muttered.
“I knew you were a danger right from the off. Especially after Halloween.”
“Th-then you let the troll in.”
“Very good Potter, yes. Snape, unfortunately, wasn't fooled. While everyone else was running to the dungeon, he went to the 3rd floor to head me off. He, of course, never trusted me again. He rarely left me alone.” Quirrell turns back to the mirror and Harry's scar hurts. “But he doesn't understand. I'm never alone. Never. Now...what does this mirror do? I see what I desire. I see myself holding the stone. But how do I get it?”
“Come here, Potter, now!”
Hope grabs her brother’s shoulder walking forward with him not wanting him to go alone.
“Tell me. What do you see?”
Harry looks in the mirror. He sees himself beside Hope. His mirror self brings his hand into his pocket and takes out a red stone. The mirror self winks and puts the stone back. Very subtly, Harry reaches to his pocket. There is a lump. He gasps. “What is it?! What do you see?!”
Hope subtly glances at Harry hoping he can come up with a believable lie. “I-I'm shaking hands with Dumbledore. I've won the house cup.”
“Tell the truth! What do you see?!”
“Master, you are not strong enough.”
Quirrell unwraps his turban and on the side opposite his face, another face is planted. Voldemort He stretches out and faces Harry and Hope via the mirror. Hope gulps slightly afraid, she knows she has to do everything she can to protect her brother. “Harry and Hope Potter. We meet again.”
“Voldemort.” Hope bites out.
“Yes. You see what I have become? See what I must do to survive? Live off another. A mere parasite. Unicorn blood can sustain me, but it cannot give me a body of my own. But there is something that can. Something, that conveniently enough, lies in your pocket!”
Hope shove Harry back, he turns and runs, Hope following after him.
“Stop them!” Voldemort called out. Quirrell snaps his fingers and fire erupts all around the room. “Don't be a fool! Why suffer a horrific death when you can join me and live?!”
Voldemort laughs, “Bravery. Your parents had it too. Tell me, children, would you like to see your mother and father again? Together, we can bring them back. All I ask for is something in return.”
Hope and Harry share a look knowing exactly what they need to do, he takes the stone from his pocket. “That's it, Harry. There is no good and evil. There is only power, and those too weak to seek it. Together, we'll do extraordinary things. Just give me the stone!”
Hope smirks, “you’re lying.”
Quirrell soars into the air and smashes into Harry, one hand on Harry’s throat. Hope watches helplessly as they fall to the steps. The stone falls out of Harry's reach as Quirrell chokes him. Suddenly, Harry puts his hand on Quirrell's, trying to get him off. Smoke furls from under his hand. Quirrell screams and backs up. His hand is crumbling into a mountain of black ash. “What is this magic?”
“Fool! Get the stone!” Voldemort commanded.
Quirrell walks forward, but Harry puts both hands on his face and Hope kicks the stone away from him. Quirrell backs up, then his face, which is horrendously burned, crumbles as he walks forward. His whole body is ash. He falls to the floor. Harry looks at his own hands and hurries over to the stone. He picks it up and sighs, when he hears something and notices Hope staring behind him. Turning, Harry saw a dust cloud with Voldemort's face. The cloud rushes forward, right through Harry as Hope pushes both herself and Harry away.
Voldemort flies away. Harry falls to the ground, unconscious. Hope falls down beside him, checking to see if he was okay.
Chapter 17: 017
June 19th 1992
In the great hall all of the students are seated, green Slytherin banners with snakes on them are hung all around them. Dumbledore, at the head table, nods to McGonagall. She dings her glass and the chatter stops. Dumbledore rises.
"Another year gone. And now, as I understand it, the house cup needs awarding, and the points stand thus. In fourth place, Gryffindor with 312 points. Third place, Hufflepuff, with 352 points. In second place, Ravenclaw with 426 points. And in first place, with 472 points, Slytherin House."
Cheering erupts around the hall, mostly from the Slytherin table.
"Yes, yes, well done Slytherin, well done Slytherin. However, recent events must be taken into account. And I have a few last minute points to award. To Miss Hermione Granger, for the use of cool intellect when others were in great peril, 50 points. Second, to Mr. Ronald Weasley, for the best played game of chess that Hogwarts has seen these many years...50 points. And third, to Mr. Harry Potter and Miss Hope Potter, for pure nerve and outstanding courage, I award Gryffindor house 60 points."
"We're tied with Slytherin," Cassie mutters.
"And finally, it takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends. I award 10 points to Neville Longbottom."
Cheering erupts around the hall once more. Cassie and Hope celebrate with the Twins, Angelina and Lee. Cassie looks up to her mother who is glancing at a glaring Snape with a smirk.
"Assuming that my calculations are correct, I believe that a change of direction is in order." Dumbledore claps. The green banners change to Gryffindor red and yellow. "Gryffindor wins the House Cup!"
Everyone cheers again, all of the students stand and throw their hats into the air, except Draco, who smashes his down onto the table. They all rub each other's hair and jump around, cheering and laughing. Especially the twins who are practically screaming.
June 20th 1992
They were home. Most students would be glad to get home for the summer but not Harry and Hope. They had to deal with their uncle, aunt and cousin now. It was hell for them.
"They can't be that bad," Fred comments. Hope doesn't really talk about the extent of the abuse she suffers with Petunia and Vernon, not even to her best friends. While Harry doesn't have it any good either, Hope catches the brunt of it. Mostly because she takes any punishment she can for her brother.
"Oh, the can be. They're horrible," Hope replied as they make their way through the platform wall. On the other side she finds Harry waiting for her, up ahead she spots the Dursleys waiting looking very unimpressed. "Come on Harry. We have to go," she urges knowing that is will be worse if they make them wait.
Hope hugs the twins not wanting to let go or leave. She really detested the Dursleys. Just about as much as they hated her.
"Ready to face this?" Hope asked her brother as they walk away from the Weasleys and towards their personal hell.
"Nope. But what else can we do?"
"Good point. I'd honestly rather face You-Know-Who again then go back to them," Hope answers truthfully.