Author's Note - So this is the last chapter I have done, please be patient with me if I don't have one up next week.
Shout Outs -
Twilight Veela - Right?! I think there needs to be more of that kind of chapter intermittent with all the ugly.
Purplestan - Glad you're ok, thank you for your kind words once again.
paulaa90 - He does, we're getting to that, promise.
As always please enjoy, read, and review!
Dahlia took a breath closing her eyes. She opened her them to see Harry. The teenager looked at the teaching assistant harshly at first coming toward her but his eyes softened when he reached the entrance. He opened his mouth a few times to speak but lost the words.
"Harry," the lilac haired witch said quietly, "you don't have to apologize, I should," her speech was speeding up, "I saw everything you did, I should have said something, stood up for you, I'm sorry." She was fidgeting with her cameo chain.
"Dahlia," he said somewhat amused at her talking so quickly, "I can't understand you when you speak so fast," he laughed and Dahlia did too hugely relieved.
"I have a message for you," she said taking him under her arm, "Sirius said he was going to talk to you soon. Whatever that means," Dumbledore's niece looked at the archway, "Let's get this over with shall we?"
"Yeah," he agreed.
The pair walked in together and slowly up to the Professor's office both wondering what kind of punishment awaited Potter and to a lesser extent Dahlia before Harry knocked on the door.
"Come in," came the shrill voice on the other side of the door. He opened the door entering and Dahlia followed him, "Good evening, Mr. Potter," she looked at the teaching assistant clucking her tongue, "Miss Dumbledore," she scolded, "As I have told you more than a reasonable amount of times that lateness with not be tolerated."
Dahlia looked at the toad like teacher, "I was unaware you wanted me here earlier, I must have missed your owl."
"I did not send an owl, you should arrive before the students," she said taking Harry's shoulders, "Sit."
"Maybe you should listen to your own advice," Dahlia mumbled.
"What was that dear," Dolores asked.
"I was in a meeting with my uncle, it ran over, if you have an issue with my tardiness you should take it up with the Headmaster."
The DADA glared at her assistant, "Consider it done." She turned back to Harry, "You're going to be doing some lines for me today, Mr. Potter." Harry pulled up his pack looking for a quill, "No," the Professor said, "not with your quill," she smiled at Dahlia, "You're going to be using a rather special one of mine," she handed it to him. The quill wasn't anything out of the ordinary, it was made from a black feather, long and thin, the nib seemed extremely sharp. "Now, I want you to write, 'I must not tell lies'."
Harry nodded, "How many times?"
"Well," her voice was soft, "let's say for as long as it takes for the message to sink in."
Potter looked around on the desk, "You haven't given me any ink."
Dolores admired her kitten china, "Oh, you won't need any ink."
Dahlia looked quizzically at the quill, what kind of quill doesn't need ink. Harry started to write and there was ink. Curious. The teaching assistant looked closer, the ink was red which struck her as odd. Then Harry let out a gasp like he had been hurt flexing his hand and that's when they saw it. The words he was writing were being scratched into the skin on the back of his hand. Dahlia was horrified, she stood there wide-eyed and gob smacked. Looking between Harry and Umbridge as she turned.
"Yes," she asked, her face was almost genuinely concerned.
"Nothing," Harry mumbled continuing to write and suffer the pain in silence.
"Nothing," Dahlia said in an astounded whisper, "that quill…"
"Dahlia," Umbridge said curtly, "you are dismissed."
"I'm staying with Harry," she said firmly, she absolutely was not going to leave him in the presence of this sadistic woman.
"You. Are. Dismissed," she said her voice tinkling like a fairy opening the door.
"I'll be in the Great Hall Harry, come find me," she said leaving the office. She slammed the door behind her and heard glass breaking. "Three less kittens," she grinned running down the stairs but it faded shortly after.
This was just the first detention, more were going to happen. Dahlia was certain of it. The lilac haired witch had to do something, Albus, no he was already too involved with the Order, Sirius couldn't do anything and she was sure Severus would help her but not Harry. Then she saw McGonagall breeze by the classroom. Of course!
"Minerva," she called after the Professor making her turn.
"Dahlia," the Irish witch said coming closer, "what happened child?"
"Professor Umbridge gave Harry detention earlier, he's in there now but the quill he's using for his lines…" she lost her words unsure how to describe what she saw.
"Yes Dahlia," concern plastered on the Transfiguration Professor's face.
"It was like the quill was pulling blood from Harry's hand scarring it as he was writing."
Minerva's face dropped for a moment before becoming cross, this was a look no one wanted to see on the professor's face, "Thank you for telling me Miss Dumbledore, I will address this with her. You should get to your house."
Dahlia nodded watching the professor walk away but waited outside the DADA classroom. Harry exited a few moments later surprised to see her. "You ok Harry?"
"Does it matter," he shrugged.
She grabbed his shoulders, "Of course it matters," her voice was stern, "I care for you, and Sirius cares for you, Ron and Hermione do. You have friends and we are behind you," she said looking at him squarely in his bright green eyes, "What happens to you matters," she pulled him in for a hug. "I know we don't know each other all that well but Harry you are like family to me."
Harry reluctantly returned the hug, "Thank you Dahlia," he said sincerely.
"Of course," she said letting him go, "what would Sirius do if I let anything happen to you?"
"Go crazy and try to kill a rat?"
Dahlia laughed, "You're probably right, let's not let that happen again."
The pair started to walk up to Gryffindor tower, it was a quiet walk for the most part. There was commotion from others returning to their houses or trying to get to the library in time. Harry turned to Dahlia as one of the staircases they were on moved. They held on until it stopped walking up to the landing.
"Can I ask you a question," Potter ventured.
"You can ask me anything," she told him.
"That pet name Sirius calls you," he said but couldn't really remember it.
"Little love," she asked with a smile while they climbed another flight of stairs.
"Yeah, it's…" he couldn't find the right words.
"Weird," she laughed and Potter nodded. "It's something that he's called me since he met me. I was 7 or 8, around there when I first met Sirius and Remus. I'm not sure where he came up with it but," she smiled at the memory, "We were in the throes of panic. I was with so many people that weren't my uncle or father. When Sirius and Remus joined the Order I had two more stable faces I could count on. There was something about Sirius, still is the charming bastard," they both laughed, "he put me at ease, I had never felt that comfortable with anyone else other than my uncle and my dad not even Lupin at the time. I was drawn to him, he called me little love while taking me to Aberforth and it stuck. I'm sure that it would have evolved into something else if he hadn't been arrested." She thought for a moment, "I do like it though, it is uniquely Sirius Black." They reached the Fat Lady's portrait, "Does it bother you?"
"No," he said turning to the painting.
"Not anymore," she observed.
"Yeah, goodnight Dahlia," he hugged her again.
Author's note - Thank you all again! I would love to hear from all of you!