A Lighter Shade of Black

Of Owls and Aneurysms

The day following that April one was bright and sunny and, for more than a few people, rather sad. Seeing as Taylor, Laura, and Nicole were there on an exchange program, the three were required to stay there over the summer, especially if they were staying to further their education. Draco and his crew were all going back to their not-so-happy homes to face their parents. Gin was going back to the burrow, to face her family like a man, er- woman. Katie was, of course, staying with her mummy.

"Miss Gin, you coming in summer?" Kate said, looking up at one of her mother's best friends.

Ginevra Weasley smiled sweetly at the four-and-a-half year old and, bending down, she pressed a kiss to the girl's left temple. "Of course I'll return, little one." she murmured, "I wouldn't wanna miss your birthday."

The girl grinned, showing off the gap inbetween where her middle teeth should have been, and enveloped the elder girl in a hug. "Okay."

Katie moved away and then stepped towards Draco. "You, too?" she questioned and stretched her arms towards him, wiggling her tiny little fingers in the universal sign of 'hug me!', which the blonde boy complied with quickly.

After everyone said their goodbyes and everyone was about to go their ways, Nicole approached Draco. "Thanks, Drake." she muttered.

"For what?" he asked, not quite understanding.

"For being a brother to Kate. I was afraid you'd just ignore her." the phantom girl said, wiping a transparent tear off her cheek.

Draco's face softened. "No problem." he said, "I always wanted a sister, but Malfoy's usually only have one child per generation."

"Oh gods, Draco, you're so sweet." she said and touched a hand to her face, "Oh, I'm getting all weepy. Well, I'll see you around."

He nodded and turned, entering his carrige with one swift movement. Cole waved at all the kids and teens that were leaving here with more than they left with.

"It feels weird, y'know, to be going home after all this time." Ginevra commented from his side.

They nodded their agreement.

"Miss Lupin-"

"Black." the three girls corrected the Potion's Master.

"Miss Black, hand me the crimsver."

Cole looked at him with this look that clearly stated he was a daft imbecile and pointed to the dark-red clover. "Can't, you get it."

"You are very lucky that term has yet to commence, or else-"

"Or else Gryffindor would have but one lowly little point left and I wouldn't get out of dention until I was thirty-effing-three, right?" she retorted from behind her large text, "Turn the page, please."

T.J. reached over, without looking, and flipped the page for her friend before turning back to her volume. The three girls and the Potion's Master had all been meeting in the Library for the past week of summer to research this anicent ritual that was supposed to make Nicole human again. The first description had given them hope, but was much too vague.

So far, all they had really accomplished was that Severus Snape was the perfect person to mess with when you were bored and wanted to pick on some one.

Laura Potter sighed and slammed the text she had been scanning down. "Nothing." she said, "I'm gonna go write Gin and go to bed, alright? Night, all."

They all said their goodnights and Laura was about to exit the large hall of knowledge when a lone book on Madame Pince's counter caught her eye. She quirked a brow at it in question. Well, I wouldn't hurt to scan through it... We'll be right back in here tomorrow night, anyhow.

Sighing again, the teen swiftly scooped up the thick, green leather-bound book in her arms and made her way up to her dorm, all along wondering exactly why she'd picked up the book. With a small shudder as goosebumps crawled along her pale skin, Laura murmured the password to the Gryffindor common room and swept upstairs to her warm, comfortable bed with that book.

Laura slid on her green, flannel, froggy pajamas and tugged her hair out of its loose bun at the nape of her neck. She slid under the blanket on her bed, picked up the book again and lit her wand. She place her wand behind her left ear and began to read.

Well, she tried to read anyway.

"Damnit." she muttered darkly as she realized the words scratched neatly on the parchment were not in English.

She shurgged and closed the book, placing it on her bedside table. Reaching over, she opened the drawer and pulling out ink, a quill, and a roll of parchment. Loading her quill with ink, Laura began to write.

Hey Ginevra,

How's the family treating you? Leaving you alone, I hope? Did you tell them about you and Drakie-cakes, yet? That will kill them, you know. A Weasley and a Malfoy together.

The research on Nicole's curse thing isn't going too good. I found this book in the Library tonight; it gave me a major de ja vu. I can't read it, though, it's in Spanish or something. Do you think you, Charlie, and Bill wanna take a crack at it?

If you owl Drake and company; tell him his cousins, half-sister, and T.J. miss him. It's kinda weird, we're all connected somehow, except Tee. Heh.

Well, love you lots,

Laura Potter

Laura rolled up the small letter and placed it inside the drawer with her other stuff and went to sleep, planning to mail it tomorrow.

"Oh, if only you knew, dear niece. If only you knew."

Ginevra Weasley sat up in her bed quickly as she heard a tapping noise. She scrubbed her left eye with her palm and scanned the room for signs of life. Her cinnamon eyes landed on the window to her right and she rolled her eyes as she saw Laura's owl hovering there with an annoyed expression on its face and a letter hooked on its tallon.

Sighing, the teen swung her legs over the side and stalked towards said window. She opened it with a grunt and snatched the letter from the bird before slamming it shut again. She plopped onto her bed once again and ripped it open. After reading her friends words she glance at the bird that still hovered outside her window irratably. It was holding a shunken parcel.

Gin rolled her eyes and went to get the bird.

"Charles and William Weasley." Gin stated after throwing the green powder into the flames of the living room's fireplace.

She had been quick in her late-night expeditions as well as quiet. She hadn't wanted anyone in her family to find her contacting her eldest brothers in Egypt. The Floo charges were gonna be through the roof.

"What's all this then?" came a groggy Bill's voice.

"Hey guys, it's me, Ginevra." Gin whispered, "Keep it down, please. Mum will go mad if she finds me down here."

"Gin?" Charlie asked, "Do you know what time is? I have to be at the reserve at five!"

"Shh!" she snapped, "I was wondering if you guys could take your summer break soon? Laura owled saying she and the others needed some help translating this text she sent me. She thinks it might help."

The brothers glanced at eachother and nodded. "All right then, fair Ginevra." Bill said.

"Tell her we'll be there on Sunday, around noon." Charlie grinned.

Ginevra smiled and said her goodbyes to her brothers. She sprinted towards her room and started to write a reply to Laura in her head as she packed her clothes and things into her trunk.

Laura,

Hello luv. Well, you're bloody owl is rather slow at sending letters.

The damned bird woke me up at one-thirty in the bloody morning!

Anyway, I'm packing my stuff up right now and Charlie and Bill

said they'll be there on Sunday some time around noon. Now about

this book. I tried to figure it out tonight, but all I got was that it was

in either Italian or Spanish, and that if you try to read too hard, you

will have an aneurysm. I'll see you and the others tomorrow (Thurs.).

Much Love,

Ginevra M.W.

"Yeah, that's good." she murmured to herself with a grin, closing her trunk lid.

The next morn, the four girls made their ways into the Great Hall. Cole had said something about talking to Dumbledore and floated towards the staff table and the others were sitting at the "special table", as T.J. called it, eating their breakfasts went an owl flew into the large room and landed gracefully on Laura's plate.

"Hey Luneca." the blonde greeted, petting the tawny animal and removed the letter from its leg.

"Who sent it?" Teej asked through a mouth of toast.

"Eww." Katie stated, making a face at her "Aunt Tay".

Taylor stuck her food-covered tongue out at the small child and she made another face.

"It's from Gin," Laura replied, ignoring the duo's antics, "she's coming down... Today! She says Charlie and Bill are gonna be here on Sunday."

"Cool," the other teen said.

"Why is she coming so soon?" Cole inquired as she walked towards the three.

"Oh, well last night I found this book when I was walking out of the library. It was just there, no names on it or anything. It made me curious, so I grabbed it and tried to read it in the dorm; but I got nothing. She's coming down to help me translate it and bringing Charlie and Bill."

"Okay."

End Chapter