Lacy here kids with our next Heidi chapter. Not a lot of action in this chapter. Not too much brooding either. Shocking, I know. We'll get it back next chapter. For now, we've got a ton of wedding prep, an announcement from Tonks and Harry's birthday. Also, just what is up with the ghoul in the attic? Read on!
Disclaimer: I own only Heidi.
In the days between Moody's death and the upcoming wedding, any visits to the Burrow were filled with wedding preparations. And there were a lot of them.
Polishing cutlery, folding and washing linens, making food and storing it for the rehearsal and actual wedding. Preparing the beds for Fleur's parents and sister, who were showing up a couple days early because Gabrielle was a bridesmaid for her sister. Molly did go easy on Heidi, until she had a conversation with Harry about whether or not he, Ron and Hermione were returning to school in September. After that, the family hardly saw each other, and then only in passing.
Which led to the current situation, Molly and Sirius shouting in the garden.
"You can't keep doing this, Molly! Ron and Hermione are adults now and Harry is my godson! I'll let him do as he pleases, seventeen or not!"
"And you can't encourage this kind of reckless behavior, Sirius! They're going to get themselves killed!"
"Have some faith in your son and his friends, Molly! They're some of the smartest I've ever met, and I grew up with Lily! Not to mention, Hermione could have run the bloody Wizarding World at age eleven!" His voice dropped, but still carried into the kitchen. "They are going to do this, whether we give them our blessings or not. Plans have been made, keeping them apart isn't doing any good, other than stressing you out even more and making everyone crazy. Trust them, Molly. They'll come home to us, I promise."
When Molly started sobbing and Sirius gathered her into a tight hug, the group moved away from the window and into the sitting room.
"I hate this." Harry said, slumped against his uncle. "I hate that everyone is so scared and angry and-" he fisted his hair.
"Harry, stop." Remus pulled the boy's hands free. "We all hate this. The danger we're in, the danger you three will be in when you leave. But we survived it once before and we're more prepared this time."
"So is He." Heidi pointed out.
Tonks nodded. "He is. But Harry said it that night at school. We have something worth fighting for. He doesn't. He's only afraid and angry and that's why He won't win." she looked at Remus and they smiled slightly. "This might be a bad time, but your uncle and I have something to share."
Harry frowned. "What is it?"
Tonks set a hand on her belly. "I'm pregnant."
Hermione, Ginny and Heidi squealed right away, hugging Tonks tightly. Ron looked more than a little disturbed, but that was because Remus was his teacher and Tonks was, well, Tonks and he didn't like thinking of 'older people' doing things like that. Harry looked between his aunt and uncle before nodding to himself.
"Then that's what we're fighting for." he said once the girls settled. He looked right at Heidi. "We're fighting to give our cousin the danger free life we never got to have." he turned to Remus and Tonks. "They'll never know what it's like to be hunted or tortured. I promise you that."
Remus smiled, pride clear in his eyes. "We're more grateful for that then I can put into words, Harry. Our child will be lucky to have you in their life." he looked at Heidi. "Both of you. All of you, really."
Hermione grinned. "It'll be our honor to know them."
The day before the Delacours were set to arrive, Molly finally stopped her mad desire to keep the kids separate. Just before lunch, the Potters, Ron, Ginny and Hermione gathered in Ron's room. Normally, they'd camp out in the twins' room because it was just a bit bigger, but they didn't want to risk Molly finding them. She wasn't separating them any more, but she was hounding them with chores.
They had just finished talking about whether or not Moody could have survived the fight, mainly because Hermione started crying and Ron reacted as though George would show up and yell at him for upsetting his girlfriend.
"You know what he'd say if he was here?" Ron questioned.
"Constant vigilance." the three girls smiled.
Ron nodded. "Right. He'd tell us to learn from what happened to him. And what I've learned is not to trust that cowardly little squit, Mundungus."
Heidi snorted. "I did that long before that night." she looked at the piles of books Hermione was sorting. "What are you doing, 'Mione?"
"Just deciding which ones we should take." Hermione explained. "When we're looking for Horcruxes."
"Oh, of course," Ron said. "I forgot we'll be hunting down Voldemort in a mobile library."
"Ha, ha," Hermione gave him a look. She looked at Spellman's Syllabary. "I wonder, will we need to translate runes? It's possible, I think we'd better take it, to be safe."
When Harry started pressing Ron and Hermione about not going with him, Ginny and Heidi left the room. It was going to end with Hermione snapping and no one wanted to be around for that.
"Ron, Dad, Fred and George transfigured the ghoul." Ginny shared as they entered her room. "Gave it hair and more pustules. Even put it in a set of pajamas."
Heidi frowned. "Ew. Why would they do that?"
"Part of the plan for those three not going back to school." Ginny explained. "If anyone comes knocking, they'll say Ron's got a serious case of spattergroit." she pulled a pillow into her lap. "What about you?"
Heidi smiled tightly. "No way I'm setting foot back in the castle. Not for a while." she shook her head. "The Ministry is coming down on werewolves because Greyback was part of the attack on the school. So Uncle Moony and I decided I'd be home schooled, to be safe." she shrugged. "I'm already a target as Harry's sister, no need to make it worse."
"And Sirius?" Ginny questioned. "He is a teacher."
"Handed in his resignation before we left." Heidi said. "McGonagall told him he'd be welcomed back whenever he wanted, but for now, she understood and dragged Professor Binns out of retirement."
Ginny frowned. "Still don't get how a ghost retires."
The girls looked at each other before laughing. The image of Binns floating around the school in casual robes and muggle sunglasses filled their minds, fueling their giggles. However, the moment was ruined when they heard Ron's bedroom door slam open and Molly's voice filtered down.
"I'm so sorry to break up this cozy little gathering," the matriarch said, her voice trembling. "I'm sure you all need your rest, but there are wedding presents stacked in my room that need sorting out and I was under the impression that you agreed to help."
Ginny sighed. "We should get back down there before she comes in here."
Heidi nodded, setting Sprig aside. The cat had climbed into her lap the moment Heidi sat and wasn't happy about moving. But it was either let her stay, or deal with an angry Molly. Sprig could deal.
The morning of Harry's birthday, Heidi woke in the safe house and turned to see Harry still sleeping in the bed across the room. The house they were in was a small muggle house with three bedrooms, so the siblings had to share. Not that they complained. Any time they got together before Harry had to leave they took and held on to.
Hearing Harry muttering in his sleep, Heidi grabbed her glasses and got out of bed. He was saying some name.
"Gregorovitch." the elder Potter slurred. "Gregorovitch."
"Harry," Heidi reached down, shaking her brother's shoulder. "Harry, wake up."
Harry started a little as he woke, his hand coming up to rub his scar.
"You were muttering in your sleep." Heidi told him as she handed him his glasses. "Sounded like a name. Gregorovitch."
Harry sat up. "I think Voldemort's looking for him."
Heidi winced. "Would not want to be him." she cleared her throat and held out a small package. "Happy birthday."
Harry took it, smiling. "Thanks, Ladybug." he carefully pulled the paper off and opened the box. Inside was a charmed wristwatch. "What is it?"
Heidi reached for it. "Turn the little knob on the side." Harry did as he was told, watching the clock face vanish. In its place was a picture of their parents. "Tap it and say someone's name and their picture appears. Padfoot helped me with the charm."
Harry broke into a grin. "Bug, this is great!" he slid the watch around his wrist, accepting Heidi's help to secure it.
"This way," Heidi spoke softly. "You won't be alone when you're gone, even with Ron and Hermione around. You'll always have the rest of us."
Seeing the tears shining in his sister's eyes, Harry pulled her into a tight hug. "It's gonna be okay, Heidi."
Heidi held her brother tightly. "Don't make promises, please." she pulled back. "I don't doubt Mum and Dad promised the same thing."
"Okay," Harry nodded. "How's this? I will do whatever I can for as long as I can to come back. To make sure you don't lose anyone else."
Heidi sniffed, wiping her eyes under her glasses. "Yeah, I can deal with that. So long as you remember, Pup."
Harry squeezed Heidi's hand. "Every day."
By seven that evening, everyone was gathered at the Burrow for Harry's birthday. Tables had been set up in the garden, Fred and George floated purple lanterns emblazoned with the number seventeen while Hermione used her wand to drape gold and purple streamers over the trees and turned the leaves on the crabapple tree gold.
Hagrid arrived wearing his best, and worst, hairy brown suit. Remus and Tonks arrived later than the Potter kids and Sirius, as Tonks had work that day and Remus waited for her at the safe house. The elder werewolf looked a bit down, but it faded every time he looked at Tonks and saw the glow she had, which had nothing to do with her shape shifting. Sirius stuck close to his godson, as he had for days. Everyone knew he was fearing losing Harry as he did James and Lily. Harry knew it best, having confronted his godfather, and let the Marauder hover.
The only one who hadn't arrived was Arthur, who was still at work.
"He was packing up when I did." Tonks told the group. "I stopped by to make sure no one was keeping him from the party."
"Something must have held him up," Molly decided. "I think we'd better start without-Oh!"
Everyone saw it at the same time. A streak of light that came flying across the yard and onto the table, where it formed into a bright silver weasel. It stood on its hind legs and spoke in Arthur's voice.
"Minister of Magic is coming with me."
Heidi looked at Remus as the patronus vanished. He had gone pale in the face, holding Tonks's hand tightly.
Heidi shook her head, cutting him off. "We won't run and hide, Uncle Moony. Their problem with us is just that, theirs. We're here to celebrate Harry's birthday and Scrimgeour is not going to stop us."
Remus sighed, but nodded. "Alright, bug."
Seconds later, Arthur appeared out of thin air at the gate, Scrimgeour at his side. The Minister of Magic was recognizable by his made of grizzled hair. The mood dropped like a chaser hit by a bludger. Back to reality. Again.
Rereading the part with Dumbledore's will, I wanted to punch the Minister so much. Then he died and I felt slightly guilty. Just slightly. Alright, it's been a bit of a chapter. Not long, but not as short as I feared. Almost made myself cry writing the scene with Harry and Heidi, but I held it together. Hope you guys did, as well. Let me know what you think, flame policy stands and thanks for reading!