Savior: Year II
Kate pressed her forehead up against the cool window of the airplane. She could do that now; contact lenses had been a pricey but worthwhile purchase. She hadn't originally intended to wear them on the plane, but she had fallen asleep with them in the night before. Now every time that she blinked, they fogged up and shifted slightly. Her sister was asleep next to her, mouth slightly open in an unbecoming snore. Kate wished that she could fall asleep, but she was distracted by the idea of Harry being in trouble with the Ministry. Ron had written to her and had filled her in on everything at once: Harry hadn't been responding to letters and he had used a spell and the ministry had reprimanded him. Knowing his aunt and uncle, they were probably confiscating mail by some means, such as killing Hedwig.
Kate had grown an inch over the summer and she gloried in her newly grown hair- it had finally reached the nape of her neck and made a stubby, but very real ponytail that bobbed at the back of her head. One thing that pleased her about being twelve was that she was beginning to develop, nothing huge or even quite noticeable, but a little jiggle was more than nothing.
America. She had missed a lot about it. She had reveled in every bite of fatty, greasy, yet addicting hamburger, heavily powdered donuts, and cheesy-cheesy pizza. She found that she felt awkward surrounded by American accents again. It was so bizarre trying to tell her friends and family stories about England… all the while editing out anything to do with magic. She had learned to keep quiet, though, resisting the temptation to share with her parents the tale of her fighting to get to the Sorcerer's Stone. A bit of fear had crept into her heart as she thought of being kept from school because her parents were afraid to send her back. It was a horrible notion and one that kept her mouth firmly shut.
The plane speaker crackled on and informed the passengers that they would soon be landing and Meghan jolted up suddenly. Kate felt a swell of relief as she rubbed her tired eyes. Consulting her sister's new watch, a lime green contraption with a ticking arm resembling actual hands, told Kate that it was nearly nine thirty P.M. by English time. Soon she was shepherded off of the plane by her parents, then to stand waiting for her luggage, and into the car on the way home at last. Meghan fell asleep in the car and Mary Jane dozed off as well. Only Dr. Slate and Kate managed to keep their eyes open, for Dr. Slate this was paramount as he was driving.
Privet Drive was dark save for the windows of inhabitants who were still awake in their homes. The streetlamps were alight, glowing a dull yellow and casting small glows on the sidewalk. Kate and her family pulled into the driveway and soon had unloaded their car. The house smelled clean and fresh as they entered because Mary Jane had insisted on cleaning before leaving, a habit that she refused to let go. Mary Jane and Dr. Slate went to their bedroom and Meghan and Kate went their separate ways. Kate collapsed on her bed, not even bothering to pull down the covers and she fell asleep.
Her dreams had taken on a different quality over the summer, though they were just as disturbing. Now as she walked down the road, she could see two distinct figures, one a broad-shouldered man with a dark face beckoning quickly to her, commanding her to follow, and the other was slightly taller but of a similar build. He didn't beckon to her at all but simply held out a patient hand.
Kate had no idea what this meant. She didn't share these dreams with anyone at home. The next morning she woke up, always with the same frustrated feeling that had she gone a bit closer, she may have seen one of the men's faces. The first thing she did after running and showering that morning was grab an old basket from one of the storage closets and start packing food inside of it. She recalled that the Dursley's had not been particularly good about feeding Harry, and if he was in captivity, chances were that Harry was starving by now. Her parents were busy unpacking upstairs and Meghan was watching television, spread lazily over the long, squashy sofa.
"What are you making?" Meghan sniffed.
"Les cookies chocolate chip," Kate responded, pulling a sheet out of the oven. "But not for you, fats," Kate joked, putting another sheet in.
"Hey, just because you're a stick now doesn't mean you can call me fat," Meghan said without much motivation. All Kate could see was Meghan's thick blonde hair coming over the back of the sofa. "And why didn't you offer me a beater?"
"A Beater?" Kate asked, thinking of Quidditch. She had gotten an owl from Seamus bearing a postcard with moving players in blue Tornadoes gear.
"You know, one of those stirring things?" Meghan grunted sarcastically.
"Oh! A beater… um… You can still have one if you want. I haven't licked it off completely -."
"I thought it was good,"
"Now you're crossing the line,"
Kate finished packing Harry's basket of goodies and left some cookies on the counter for her family. She left a note saying that she was going to visit Harry and would be back sometime later.
The sky in England tended to be gray, and today was no exception. It was muggy outside and a fair share of middle-aged women tended their gardens with ridiculous gardening hats and typical gloves with patterns of flowers and leaves. Kate, in loose beige cargo pants, navy blue flip-flops, and a sky blue tank top, was the only teenager on the street. When she finally reached number four Privet Drive, she paused to tuck a tendril of hair fruitlessly behind her left ear and reached out to ring the bell.
Muffled grunts of "I'll get it" signified the approach of a rather beefy personage. The door was yanked open by a fat blonde-haired boy with small watery blue eyes and apparently not a lot of room for a brain, but Kate wasn't judging Dudley Dursley.
"Who are you?" He drawled, looking Kate up and down suspiciously.
"My name is… is… Callie Townsend, I'm here to see Harry Potter," Kate lied quickly. She realized that if the Dursley's knew that she was related to her parents, unnecessary tensions would mount between the two households.
Dudley's eyes narrowed. "Why?"
Kate drew herself up indignantly. "Is Harry here?"
"I don't know," Dudley said cautiously. "Lemme ask my mum," the door slammed in her face and Kate counted to forty-seven, tapping a nervous foot on the welcome mat, holding her wicker basket with both hands, before Petunia Dursley answered the door. Kate was surprised to see such horse-y teeth in a human woman but kept her gaze on the tall woman's eyes.
"Yes?" She asked sharply.
"My name is Callie Townsend and I'm here to speak with Harry Potter," Kate was beginning to wonder if Harry was hog-tied in his cupboard. "May I come in?"
"To speak with Harry, of course," Kate said slowly.
"How do you know…Harry?" Petunia glared at Kate.
Kate grinned. "I'm a witch, of course."
Petunia stiffened. "Then no, you may not come in," she began to close the door but Kate put a hand out.
"You do realize that as a witch I may resort to magic, don't you?"
"I know that you're not allowed to perform magic outside of… school," Petunia hissed, turning quite red in the cheeks.
Kate laughed, it was a rather forced sound but she managed nonetheless. "Oh that British institution Hogwarts has the strangest rules! But you see, I attend WWL, or Wizards and Witches of Liberty in Massachusetts, and our rules are quite different."
Petunia's face turned even whiter.
"I assure you nothing horrible will befall you or your family if you give me a few hours with your nephew. And I will not bother you again,"
Petunia slowly opened the door, looking ill and a bit furious. "Follow me, and close the door," she snapped at Kate.
"Of course," Kate gently closed the door behind her and followed Petunia up the stairs. A closed door with a dog flap at the bottom (why a dog flap?) was Petunia's ultimate destination. Removing from her pocket a little bronze key, Petunia unlocked the door and barked "visitor, Harry." Then turning to Kate, "a few hours?"
"Just a few. I won't kill anyone," Kate tried to smile but felt her stomach turning as she thought of Harry being cooped up in his room. She walked through the door and heard the door close behind her and the twisting of a key.
Harry sat on his bed looking perplexed, his hair even messier than usual. There was a hungry and pinched look to his face and his eyes, usually bright, had a dull and bleak gleam about them. In a corner, Hedwig's cage had begun to reek and the owl looked absolutely miserable. Kate wondered if she had been let out since she had arrived. Before Kate could speak, Harry piped up.
"Er… do I know you?"
Kate's mouth dropped. "Glad to see you too, Harry. It's been less than two months and you've forgotten me."
Harry tilted his head to the side, "Kate?" He attempted.
"Phew, glad to see you haven't gone completely mental in here," Kate couldn't smile.
"You look completely different without… your glasses," Harry said. "But I'm ruddy glad to see you." His face broke into a grin, perhaps the first in days.
"What's going on? Why are you in here? Why are in trouble with the Ministry?"
Harry groaned and leaned back against his wall. "It's a crap story,"
Kate took a seat at the foot of his bed and cross her legs. "Speak,"
"Well, I thought that you, Ron, Hermione and Hagrid weren't sending me any letters and then one night Dobby- a House Elf…."
"A House Elf?" Kate interrupted.
"My question too," Harry nodded. "I think they're servants to wizards. Slaves, more like. But Dobby showed up here when the Dursley's had company and… and he told me I shouldn't go back to school because terrible things were going to happen at Hogwarts."
"What terrible things?" Kate asked anxiously.
Harry shrugged. "He wouldn't say. Anytime he tried to tell me something, he'd start… well, hitting himself. He had to punish himself for saying anything he wasn't supposed to, I guess. So then he showed me all your letters and went downstairs- my uncle was having a dinner party- and he smashed Aunt Petunia's pudding using some sort of charm. The Ministry thought I'd done it and sent me a warning. Now I'm locked in here all the time," Harry finished miserably. "And if I do anymore magic, I'll be expelled."
Kate frowned at him. "I'll tell Ron for you. Maybe his dad can do something. Here," she shoved her basket into his lap. "I made you a couple sandwiches and cookies. I don't know how long it will last you, but it's better than nothing."
Harry's glum look gave way to an enormous smile. "Kate, I knew I loved you."
"You just love me because I'm an excellent cook and I'm madly adorable," Kate winked.
"D'you mind if I-."
"Go ahead," Kate nodded.
Harry pulled out a sandwich and started eating. Hedwig fluttered her wings and moved on her perch. "Oh, right," Harry put a piece of his sandwich in the cage.
"Let me take Hedwig home for awhile, at least until we can get you out of here. She shouldn't be locked up like this. It's not healthy,"
A couple hours later, Kate and Hedwig left Harry in solitude. Kate felt terrible leaving him alone. Petunia Dursley ushered her briskly out the door and slammed the door behind her.
"Nice family," Kate muttered to Hedwig.
The minute she got home, she set to work unlocking Hedwig's cage with a bobby pin. Her cage reeked and Kate felt slightly green as she worked. Finally she felt the gears of the lock click and the padlock fell off. Hedwig shot out hooting excitedly.
"Sh! Sh!" Kate covered her own mouth. Hedwig stopped making so much noise and landed on Kate's bed. "I don't want my parents to know you're here. Look, I have a job for you already. I'll feed you first though, okay?" Kate had nicked some bread from the kitchen and let the snowy owl eat it as she wrote Ron a letter explaining Harry's predicament. Once Hedwig had finished, Kate tied the letter to her leg and sent her off.