Disclaimer: I don't own any of JK's lovely world. Ivy, however, is mine.
Some of the plot in this story was taken from a wonderful Marauder fic by Faber Wolffe, titled He Can't Hyde. I would suggest that everyone read it. Her story is only slightly altered in my version, which, of course, I asked permission to do.
Okay, bear with me ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the wonderful world of The Jedi Wizard Hobbit! This is my first real fic that I've ever posted. First, I'd like to make some promises:
- While this is a romance fic containing an original character, I promise you that she is not a Mary Sue. I am a devout hater of Mary Sues, as are most people. She may seem that way at first, but if you continue reading, I hope you'll grow to like her.
- The first two chapters in this fic are a little weak. It was unavoidable, because they are setup chapters. It gets better, and I hope you will continue reading, nevertheless, and give this story a chance. It has lots of fun stuff in it.
- Characters sing in this fic. Wait! Before you hit the back button and growl at me, let me assure you that it is all in good fun! In the first chapter it may come off a bit cheesy, but it is intended to be good-humored. Singing doesn't occur after chapter one for a while, but then it's really fun. Besides, I see no reason why characters shouldn't sing! It's therapeutic… or something…
If you enjoy or even if you don't, please review! I'd really love feedback!
# # #
Echoes In Eternity
Chapter One - Introductions and Reunions
THEN - Marauder Fourth Year
Four fourteen-year-old boys flew down a staircase.
"Did we lose him?"
"I think so."
"Who cares? Just keep running!"
The four boys who seemed to be fleeing some great danger went by the names of James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew. And they were indeed fleeing danger. This was due to the fact that, moments before, James had thought it would be amusing to transfigure Severus Snape's wand into a carrot.
Sirius reared his head back in a maniacal laugh as he bounced down another flight. "Did you see his face? James, he is going to kill you!"
From behind Peter, Remus, who was last in line, gave a snort. "With what? His incredible magic carrot?"
James was about to laugh when he realized that the stairs below him were wet. He grabbed hold of the banister to stop himself from slipping, but Sirius, who was still running at top speed, crashed into him. The result left all four at the bottom of the stairs, piled on top of each other, moaning and groaning in shock.
As Sirius and James managed to sit up, they heard an unexpected sound. Peter, who was crumpled on the bottom stair, was giggling. Sirius began rubbing one of his elbows, which was already bruising, and leaned towards Peter. "What could possibly be so funny at this particular moment?"
Peter pulled at a wet corner of his robes and attempted to wring it out. "It's just amusing… Doesn't it seem that whenever we pull a prank on Snape we end up doing more damage to ourselves than to him?"
Still flat on his back next to Sirius, Remus let out a soft chuckle. James and Sirius soon joined in as they all were forced to review the absurdity of their situation. James hauled himself to his feet and began to brush the dirt off his clothes. Sirius and Peter both noticed that Remus had not yet sat up, so both reached for him to help him stand. When they were all on their feet, Sirius noticed the look of fatigue on Remus' face.
"You know, James, maybe we shouldn't do this sort of stuff so soon after the full moon. I don't think it's good for Remus."
"I can handle it, Sirius," said Remus, sounding slightly hurt.
Sirius struggled to think of something to say that wouldn't hurt Remus' feelings or pride, but James cleverly stepped in. "We know you can handle it, Remus. We just don't want you to push yourself beyond your limits on the account of some stupid prank."
"I'm not pushing myself," Remus insisted. "I'm… just a bit tired…"
"I think someone needs to eat," suggested Peter.
Sirius perked up his ears. "That sounds good… It is dinnertime isn't it?"
James turned to Remus. "Hungry, Remus?" Remus gave a vigorous nod, and with that the four boys set off for the Great Hall.
When they arrived for dinner, they were a bit early and the tables were only about half-full. A certain feeling of calm washed over all of them, knowing that Snape wouldn't dare try getting back at them while they were in the Great Hall. Much of their energy had returned, and each one of them was beginning to feel confident again. After all, it was November and fourth year was going great. They had finally decided on a name for their little group - The Marauders. James, Sirius, and Peter had been working very hard on becoming Animagi, and they felt they were getting close. Pranks and detentions had been at an all-time high. Fourth year presented new chances, more mischief to get into, and more risks to take.
This was the first official year of Marauder reign.
Other changes had occurred as well. The boys were actually beginning to grow up. James had finally started dating Lily Evans at the start of the year, not at all to the surprise of his three friends. When they reached the Gryffindor table James searched for Lily so he could sit next to her, as he did at every meal.
James grabbed Sirius' arm and pointed with his own. "Who's that girl that Lily's talking to?"
Sirius followed James' finger to the end of the table where Lily sat. She was conversing with another redheaded girl. This girl's hair, however, was a different shade of red. Lily had straight orange-red hair that she probably inherited from Irish ancestors. This new girl had dark auburn hair that seemed to be highlighted with gold. It was in a mix of waves and curls that fell just past her shoulders. Sirius had never seen this girl before.
Bertha Jorkins, a sweet but gossip-loving Hufflepuff, heard James' inquiry and decided to fill him in. "Oh, you didn't hear? She just transferred here from America! She got sorted into Gryffindor today."
Sirius was intrigued. "From America, eh?"
"Yes," said Bertha, "but don't let that make up your mind about her. She speaks with an American accent, but she lived here until she was ten before moving to the United States. And here's the really amazing part - she's related to the headmaster! She's Dumbledore's great-grandniece!"
Peter piped in. "Great-grandniece? I didn't know he even had siblings."
"Well, apparently he did," said Bertha. "He supposedly had a brother, and that brother had a son, who had a son. Then that son married an American muggle or something. It's funny isn't it? How little we actually know about Headmaster Dumbledore?"
But Sirius hadn't really been listening to her. He saw an opportunity. "Related to Dumbledore, is she? This could be very convenient…" The fact was, Sirius had recently found that he had a certain amount of charm when it came to dealing with the ladies. This year he had begun flirting, and girls had been falling for him left and right. So, he straightened up and sauntered over to where the new girl sat. James and the rest, not wanting to miss a good show, followed in his wake.
As Sirius approached, the girls stopped talking, and Lily rolled her eyes knowing what was coming. Sirius held out his hand and gave the girl his most attractive smile. "Hello. I saw you across the room and suddenly felt the need to come over introduce myself." When the girl reached out to shake the hand he had offered, Sirius took her hand and kissed it. "My name is Sirius Black. Welcome to Hogwarts."
The girl gave a small smile. "Sorry slick - it's not that easy."
Sirius gave his most puzzled and innocent look. "What's not that easy?"
The girl stood up from the table. She was shorter then Sirius by about six inches, but she had a presence that made her seem a lot taller. "Sirius Black, huh? I've been warned about you." From across the table Lily gave Sirius a wide smile and he shot her a glare.
Deciding it was no use, he slumped back into his casual posture and cocked his head to one side. "Okay, let's drop the act. I'm Sirius. Who are you?"
She held out her hand again. "Ivy Dumbledore."
Sirius shook her hand for real this time.
They both shook her hand. Then Sirius said, "And this is-"
Sirius, James and Peter exchanged looks. Remus never introduced himself to people. He was usually too shy. One of them always had to do it. But there he was, shaking this girl's hand as if it were the most natural thing to do in the world. Remus and Ivy locked eyes, granite to periwinkle, and held their gaze for several seconds. Then they broke apart, smiling at each other. Sirius started to chuckle at the obviousness of what was happening, but Peter gave him a sharp elbow in the stomach to stop him.
"Well, well, well," said Sirius under his breath. I think our dear Mr. Lupin has a bit of a crush… What fun I'm going to have with this.
They all sat down to eat. Remus and Sirius were on either side of Ivy across from Peter, James and Lily.
Lily gave James a poke with her fork. "Severus Snape came in here a few minutes before you did looking quite angry, and then he left as though he was looking for someone…" The four boys shot glances back and forth. "He was holding a carrot," she added. Mischievous smiles appeared. Lily sighed. "All right, which one of you was it this time?" Three pairs of eyes shifted to James. "James Potter, you didn't!" James turned to her with his eyes wide and innocent. Luckily for him, Lily didn't feel like scolding him at that moment.
Then, much to everyone's surprise, Ivy spoke up. "Severus Snape is a stupid git." She said it very plainly as though it were simply a fact that everyone should know. When the others looked at her questioningly, she elaborated. "He was teasing and threatening me at lunch today. Talking about how popular I was going to be just because I'm related to the headmaster."
Sirius grinned broadly. "We think alike. I should've had a sibling like you," he claimed fondly. "But don't worry about it, Little Sister, we won't let that greasy prat within an inch of you."
This became the first time that Sirius would utter the nickname 'Little Sister,' a name that from then on, he reserved for Ivy, and Ivy alone.
NOW - Harry's Seventh Year at Hogwarts
Harry, Ron, and Hermione walked under Harry's invisibility cloak on their way back to the Gryffindor tower. They had just been to the kitchens because Harry and Ron had not managed to eat dinner that evening due to detention with Snape. Hermione had also wanted to hold a S.P.E.W. meeting, though none of the house elves seemed very enthusiastic about it.
School had been particularly strange this year. It seemed that one bad class got exchanged for another. All the students were thrilled to have Professor Lupin back as the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, but History of Magic had gone terribly wrong. Professor Binns, the ghost who taught the class, had not been showing up to teach his lessons. No one seemed to know why, though terrible rumors were flying around the school, but that meant that Snape had been subbing for him. History of Magic quickly became a threatening and unhappy course. Before it had simply been boring - now the students were forced to deal with Snape twice as much every week.
They were passing the staircase that led to the front of the castle, and heard voices near the entrance. All of them recognized the two men who were talking - Albus Dumbledore and Sirius Black. Professor Lupin had brought Sirius back with him as his pet, Snuffles. Harry supposed that Sirius was not in animagus form since it was late and they wouldn't have expected any students out at that time of night. Harry looked at Ron and Hermione, and they both nodded in agreement with Harry to go and listen in on the conversation.
"I still don't understand what all the mystery is about, Albus," Sirius complained. "You've been warning me since I came here not to be seen in human form, and here I am, standing at the entrance, waiting for someone whose identity is still unknown to me!"
Albus smiled. "Be patient, Sirius. When you see who is coming you will be glad you waited. I want it to be a surprise for you. I like surprises. I imagine it will be a surprise for Remus as well."
Sirius' expression became even more puzzled. "What does Remus have to do with-"
At that moment, one of the giant wood doors to the front of the castle opened, and a cloaked figure carrying a suitcase stepped inside. The unknown person had his or her hood up so no one could see their face. The door closed behind the figure, who set down the suitcase and then straightened up to view the surroundings.
Dumbledore cleared his throat. "Do come all the way inside, my dear, and greet your home properly."
"But the first breath of air one takes inside these walls is always the most enchanting," the figure responded.
"You can't hold that breath indefinitely," Albus teased.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione watched as the figure pulled back its hood to reveal a lovely woman with golden-auburn hair.
Sirius' expression went from puzzlement to disbelief. Harry heard him mutter, "Little Sister…? It can't be…"
The woman detected the muttering and took a hard look at Sirius. Soon, her eyes became wide and a smile reached her lips. "Sirius?" she said, with a hint of disbelief as well.
"Little Sister!" Sirius rushed towards her and grabbed her up in a hug. Then he picked her up off the floor and twirled her around, as the woman laughed warmly. Finally, he set her down and looked her right in the eye. "I had been wondering where you were! Things were so busy, I didn't have the time to get in contact with you, though Albus told me that he told you what happened with Peter. I hoped to get Remus to send you something, but he told me you two hadn't been in touch for a long time, and he didn't know where you were."
Ivy's eyes seemed to fall a bit at the mention of Remus' name, but she quickly regained her composure. "Yes… we haven't really spoken in sixteen years."
Sirius' jaw dropped. "You haven't spoken to him since Lily and James died?"
"A little bit after that," Ivy endeavored to explain. "We were just going in different directions, and we didn't keep up with each other's whereabouts."
"A mistake, I should think," Dumbledore interjected.
Sirius was about to comment that they should've been able to keep in touch just fine through owls, but Ivy had already shifted her attention to Dumbledore. "Albus!" she cried, and gave him a hug as well. "Thank you so much for letting me come!"
He pushed her back to arms length to get a look at her. "We are in need of your services. I'm glad you've come, my dear Ivy - or should I say, Professor Dumbledore?"
Sirius looked back and forth between Albus and Ivy. "Wait a tick… Ivy's going to be the new History of Magic teacher, isn't she? That's great! Now we'll have two-"
But Dumbledore cut him off. "There's someone else here who I think you'll want to see, Ivy." He turned to Sirius and gave him a small wink. "I believe you know where this person is at the moment, don't you, Sirius?"
Sirius looked at Dumbledore with inquisitiveness. "You mean she doesn't know-"
"I like surprises, Sirius, " Albus said plainly.
Sirius smiled as he realized what Dumbledore was doing. "I'll take her, Albus."
He smiled. "Thank you, Sirius. I will retire for the night now."
As he left, Albus passed Harry, Ron and Hermione. He turned to them and looked straight at them, but instead of telling them to go to bed as they expected, he just smiled and gestured towards Sirius and the new guest. He seemed to be inviting them to follow. Then he smiled at them again, and walked away.
After he had gone, Ivy raised an eyebrow at Sirius. "So… who is here that I just have to see?"
Sirius smirked. "Follow me, and I'll show you." After walking a few steps, he stopped and turned to her. "You don't happen to sing anymore, do you, Ives?"
* * *
Remus couldn't think of a place he'd less like to be. In the dungeons, in the middle of the night, with Severus Snape.
He was there because Dumbledore had asked Severus to teach him how to make the Wolfsbane potion, in case Voldemort summoned Snape at an inconvenient time. Remus was getting very tired, and he knew he would never be able to figure out how to brew the extremely complicated potion. He also had a sneaking suspicion that Severus was making it seem even more difficult, just to make him upset. He had already been down there for hours, listening while Severus rambled and found ways to indirectly insult him.
He knew the reason Severus was in a snit was because he had been hired back. Dumbledore had sent a letter out to all the parents before the school year started, informing them of his intention to bring Remus back, and letting them know that if he had enough complaints he would not. Only a few Slytherin parents had complained, but none of them were angry enough to take their kids out of Hogwarts for it, so Remus got the job. He was glad to be back. He had missed his students, and he felt that he should be around Harry when times were becoming so dangerous.
Unfortunately, being back also meant having to deal with Severus. Remus still responded to him the same way he always had, politely and respectfully. The real trick had been keeping Sirius in line. Whenever Sirius was in human form and he and Severus happened to meet up, the consequences were unpleasant, to say the least. There was lots of shouting and reopening of old wounds that Remus wished they could all forget. He knew Severus would never be civil towards him while Sirius was there to remind him of their past.
"Now, Lupin, if you keep letting your mind wander like this the potion will be ruined, and we'll have to make another batch. Please keep your mind on the task at hand!"
Remus yawned. "I'm sorry, Severus… I just had no idea it would take this long."
"Well," Severus snapped, "Maybe now you'll have a little more respect for potion-making then you had before! It is an art form, and a delicate one. It's just too bad that you and your friends were so busy pulling idiotic pranks in class, and never bothered to learn anything from it."
Yes, it is, Remus thought. Because if we had, I wouldn't be here right now.
"Severus, if I don't pack it up soon I'm going to fall asleep right in this cauldron."
Severus smiled. "And then you'll just have to come back and try again tomorrow, won't you?"
Remus sighed. He couldn't begin to imagine how much Severus was enjoying this. He looked into the cauldron. The contents were dark brown, and Severus had told him to turn down the flame underneath it when that happened. He did so, and sat down so he could let it sit for fifteen minutes, as he had been told to do.
At that moment he heard something very strange. Two people were coming towards the dungeons and… singing?
"Good morning, good morning
We've talked the whole night through,
Good morning, good morning
Good morning, good morning
It's great to stay up late
Good morning, good morning
Remus racked his brain. The man sounds like Sirius, and the woman…
Then he heard Sirius' voice outside the door. "Wait, remember this one? -
The woman responded.
"He purified me!"
She was echoed by Sirius.
"He purified you!"
Remus couldn't believe his ears. "It can't be…"
Severus had noticed the voices as well, and also seemed to be listening in disbelief. Remus held his breath as the woman belted at the top of her lungs.
"Showed me I caaaannn!"
"Yes, you caaaannn!"
Remus and Severus looked at each other. Remus gave one nod of his head. "It can."
Both he and Severus opened the dungeon door and found Sirius singing with none other than Ivy Dumbledore. They were standing in such a way that Sirius was facing the dungeon door and Ivy had her back to it. Sirius saw Remus and gave him a smile as he and Ivy continued to sing together.
"Learn how to be more
The girl that's inside me/you"
Sirius then began and Ivy became the echo.
"With sweet understanding, with sweet understanding"
"With sweet understanding, with sweet understanding"
They sang together again.
"With sweet understanding,
Seymour's my/your maaaaannnn!"
They both finished the song and grabbed onto each other, laughing hysterically. Sirius caught his breath and shook his finger at Ivy. "You… I can't believe you… You can still belt them like that!"
She giggled a bit longer before responding. "Of course I can… What, did you think I was going to stop singing just because I wasn't around you all the time? Besides, you sound great too!"
Sirius shrugged modestly. Then he looked Remus directly in the eye as he said to Ivy, "Here's another one I'm sure you'll remember."
Remus felt as though he was being invisibly pushed, and before he could stop himself, though he hadn't tried in many years, he began to sing.
Don't let it start
Know in your heart
Each step we take
Takes us too far."
Ivy felt her heart catch in her chest as she heard she heard the soft, gentle voice behind her. It can't be…
Don't fall for this
From the first kiss
We'd start to lose,
Lose who we are."
Ivy closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. It can.
"Don't let the tides of your heart
Rise, or they'll tear you apart.
Never reach for my hand,
Never let me come near you
Or I fear you will regret
That I first kissed you
That I let myself hold you
When I'd told you all I feel
It was one of the many songs that James and Lily and asked the two of them to sing at their wedding. It was from a particularly tragic musical called Martin Geurre. Out of all the songs they'd requested, this one never quite fit with the others, and Remus and Ivy had spent many hours together contemplating why it was chosen for such an occasion. Even now, Remus wondered why that song ended up being the first to escape his lips.
Ivy began her part in the duet.
"I hear each word you say
For I feel them each night,
Yet if everything is wrong
Why does something feel right?"
As she sang, Ivy slowly turned around to face Remus. At the sight of her, he was taken aback. He realized that he had forgotten the intensity of her eyes. She looked like an ancient goddess, standing in robes of midnight blue, her red hair shining like fire in dim light of the dungeons. She continued singing, now looking directly into his eyes.
"I cannot watch you go…
Despite the lie, our love
Is truer than we know"
Remus stopped her with a word.
"This is not wrong."
"But for how long?
This is too good,
Too good to last."
"No one's this strong."
This is your land,
This is your past."
"For all our lives"
"I will be Martin Geurre"
"You brought the rain"
Sirius couldn't have planned it better. It looked like a scene from one of those muggle movies. Whenever Remus and Ivy sang together it had that effect - you got completely engrossed in their story. They both continued in the last verse.
is no one who'd dare.
Never reach for my hand,
Never let me come near you
Or I fear you will regret
That I first kissed you
That I let myself hold you
When I told you all I feel"
A great look of sadness came over Remus' face, and his voice softened.
my love, just one kiss,
One kiss, before we say…
Ivy finished the song, and smiled at him for a long time before speaking. "Hello Remus," she whispered.
Remus suddenly felt weak at the knees. Get a hold of yourself! he inwardly demanded. You still act like a teenager around her! "Hello, Ivy. It's good to see you." God, is that the best you can come up with in sixteen years? After what you did to her?
Ivy quickly became her loud, vibrant self again. "So?" she looked at him questioningly. "Where's my hug? I already got one from Sirius!"
Remus smiled. Nothing's changed… she's exactly the same… He went to her and she wrapped her arms tightly around his neck, his arms around her waist. After they let go Remus heard a voice behind him.
"Well, now that you're done making enough noise to wake up the whole school!" Severus complained.
"Nice to see you too, Severus," Ivy said cheerfully. "Come now, you know that no one could hear us down here. We're too far away from everyone."
"You need to finish making that potion, Lupin," Severus pointed out.
Ivy looked to Remus questioningly. "Potion?"
"Wolfsbane Potion," he explained.
"Can I help?" she offered. Remus suddenly realized his luck. Ivy was the only friend of theirs who had done very well in potions class when they were in school.
"I suppose you could… In fact," he added slyly, "Severus has been trying to teach me how to make it… in case of emergencies." He looked into her eyes pleadingly, and she instantaneously knew what he wanted.
"You know, Severus," Ivy said in a very off-handed way. "If you'll just let me look at the ingredients, I'm sure I could make the potion if you were ever… unable to."
Severus realized what was going on, and it was obvious that he didn't like it. However, he had no sound reason to protest. "I suppose that since Lupin is quite inept at this sort of thing…"
"Very well, Severus, I'll be over tomorrow after my classes to look at the ingredients and start making the potion," Ivy said.
Severus paused for a moment, soaking up what she had said. "Did you say classes…?"
Ivy nodded. "I'm taking over as the new History of Magic professor."
Snape was so infuriated that he didn't know what to say. Instead, he gave a curt nod, turned back into his classroom, and quickly slammed the door behind him.
Ivy chuckled slightly. "Well… I can see nothing's changed about him…"
Remus turned back to her with gratitude written all over his face. "Thank you so much! You have no idea what you've saved me from - he was going to keep me there all night!"
"I'm just glad to be back!" Ivy exclaimed. "Now… where can I go to get something to eat at this time of night?"
Sirius did a mock gape. "Surely you haven't forgotten?" He looked to Remus who nodded in agreement. "To the kitchens!" Sirius announced.
"To the kitchens!" Remus and Ivy repeated after him.
They began to make their way to the kitchens, and Sirius couldn't help but thinking, It's just like old times…
Harry waited until the trio was gone before he whispered to Ron and Hermione, "We should get to bed. We'll talk in the morning."
THEN - Continued from the previous 'then' incident
"So, are you really Dumbledore's great-grandniece?" asked James as he pushed up his glasses.
"Yes, I am. But I don't really view Albus as an uncle. You see, my grandfathers both died before I was born, so Albus has sort of been a grandfather to me."
Remus had been drumming his fingers absentmindedly on the table, which all the Marauders knew was a sign of nervousness. He finally decided to speak up. "Why did you transfer from your school in America?"
Ivy shrugged. "The school that I went to there was really bad."
Sirius pounded his fist on the table. "Those damn American wizards are so backwards!"
Everyone began to laugh at Sirius' dramatics. Everyone except Remus. No one had noticed what he had. Ivy isn't telling the truth, he thought. The way she had averted her eyes when she gave him her answer had told him so. He didn't understand how he knew that meant she was lying. He just knew.
And he wished he knew why.
The dinner appeared on the tables and they all started to eat. There was plenty of casual chatting as they all got to know Ivy, who turned out to be much more daring and quick-witted than the Marauders had expected. Still, the conversation seemed to take on incredible life when Ivy was talking to Remus. They laughed together, bounced ideas off each other and acted like they had known each other forever. Soon, even Lily began to catch on to what Sirius and the others had seen - these two were connected.
They all finished dinner and headed back up towards the common room. They spent some more time talking on the comfy chairs and couches before they all realized that it was time to turn in for the night. Lily and Ivy walked the steps to the girl's dorm while the James, Sirius, Remus, and Peter returned to the room that they shared. There was a short pillow fight, started due to the fact that Sirius had been teasing Remus about Ivy, but soon the boys were exhausted and they all fell asleep.
Remus woke up in the middle of the night. He wasn't surprised - he woke up at night often, ever since… But on that night he felt the need to get up and walk around, so he put on his dark blue bathrobe and headed down to the common room. And there, he found someone waiting for him.
Ivy was sitting in front of the fireplace, gazing into it, as though some sort of secret lied within it. Remus turned around to go back to his room, but Ivy heard him at the top of the stairs. She smiled gently. "Hello."
Remus knew he couldn't leave now without seeming rude, so he walked slowly down the stairs and sat next to her in front of the fire. "Hello - couldn't sleep?" She shook her head. "Me neither. Of course, you have more of a reason. It must be hard to adjust to this place after going to school in another country."
He had wanted to broach the subject of her school transfer again, but apparently made it more obvious then he had wished because she raised an eyebrow at him and asked, "Is something bothering you, Remus?"
Remus sighed. He knew that lying would be of no use - he had a funny feeling that she could read him probably as well as he could read her. So he'd just have to tell her. "You didn't tell the truth… the truth about why you transferred, I mean."
Ivy's eyes widened. "You're perceptive… No, I didn't tell the truth."
The look on Ivy's face became solemn. "Do you really want to know?" Remus nodded. Ivy took a deep breath. "Okay… You must have heard that my mother is a muggle. An American muggle. She met my father in London on a train - he stopped a man from mugging her, I think. When they got married they decided to live in England, and I lived the first ten years of my life here. Close to Albus, close to my father's magical family… and I never gave it a second thought. But my mother was getting homesick and she missed her family. Since the witchcraft schools in America were supposed to be very good, and there was one very close to my mother's family, my father packed us up and moved us to America.
"I finally met my mother's family… and they weren't very nice. They had never really let my mother know how much they hated my father. They knew he was a wizard, and I think it scared them. Things weren't going so well, and soon my mother got sick. Some sort of strange muggle disease called cancer that no one knew how to cure. We couldn't move back to England - it would've been too stressful for her. So we had to stay there…"
Ivy's eyes watered up, but she held back her tears and continued. "My mother died five months ago. When she passed away, my mother's relatives tried to take me away from my father and enroll me in a muggle school. Thankfully, he managed to wrestle me away from their grasp and we came back to England where Albus had assured us that I could come to Hogwarts." She paused to get control of herself, and then in a lighter tone said, "And I don't know why I just told you all that."
Remus felt a pit in his stomach. He now wished with all his heart that he had just left the matter alone. Why do you always have to be so damned inquisitive?! He said the only thing that came to his mind. "Ivy… I'm… I'm really sorry… You didn't have to tell me if you didn't want to… I would've understood…"
"It's fine," she sighed, suddenly seeming less burdened. "I wouldn't have told you if I didn't want you to know."
"Why were you afraid to tell us in the first place?"
Ivy smiled a bit. "It didn't seem like a great conversation starter for making new friends."
Without thinking, Remus took her hand in his and squeezed it gently. "Well, now that you're friends with all of us please don't hesitate to tell us anything. You can trust us all to keep your secrets, I promise."
She squeezed his hand back. "I will."
# # #
Well, there you are! I told you it was a little weak… But it gets better, I promise. Please, review!