CHAPTER 1

The Girl Who Lived

"George! We need to close down the shop and get all the merchandise protected NOW!" Fred hollered.

"What? Why?" George asked, looking at his watch, not understanding why they had to close an hour early.

"Haven't you noticed what's going on outside?" Fred said, now becoming frustrated with his twin brother.

"No, I haven't. For your information, I'm testing out our new inviso ear plugs." George answered, becoming annoyed that he didn't know what was going on.

"Well they seem to be working--but more on that later. The dark mark is over the entrance to Diagon Alley. NOW START CLOSING UP THE SHOP!".

Fred wasn't kidding. From their front window, you could see the odd sickly green glow that the mark gave off. People were out side screaming and running aimlessly; and from what Fred could see, a horde of black-hooded figures were what was scaring them off.

"GEORGE!"

"What? The shop's closed and the goods are locked away." He was now beginning to get angry with his brother's impatience.

"Is it safe to go to the house?" George was referring to the small, yet reasonably comfortably sized, underground house.

"Ya, I think so," Fred said hastily. "But we should probably do a double check to make sure everything is safe.. .."

"Oi! Why do you have to be so concerned about things we can make more of later!" said George, who by this time had noticed that the Death Eaters were considerably closer than they had been before.

It was probably a good thing that Fred wanted to do a double check because as they were about to dis-apparate, they heard a loud bang on the shop's front door, and the noise of something being set down.

"What the hel--" George started but never finished. As they both ran to open the door, they noticed a women's figure running away under a jet-black cape.

Before she went around the corner of the nearest building, one of the Death Eaters screamed, "Avada kadavra!". A jet of bright green light hit the women before she could get out of its path. It hit her square in the back and she fell almost instantly. All of the Death Eaters laughed shrilly. The one who had cast the spell ran to her body and seemed to be searching frantically for something.

"The child! She doesn't have it!" he said in a high pitched rasping voice.

"The Dark Lord will not be pleased!" said one of the Death Eaters in a slightly quavering voice. The Death Eaters Set off a Dark Mark over the women's body, and dis-apparated simultaneously.

"WHAT THE BLOODY HELL JUST HAPPENED?" shouted Fred.

"I'm not sure mate, but it was---Oi!" George was attempting to go out into the street, when his foot hit the small bundle that was lying in front of the doorway. The bundle began to move and Fred and George stood transfixed looking at the small bundle of blankets. After a few moments, the bundle began to move more frantically and from deep down inside it they heard a muffled cry.

"Did you hear that?" asked Fred.

"Ya." Said George. He had gone a little pale and was wearing a face of bewilderment and confusion.

"Do you-- do you reckon we should open it?" Fred asked, not knowing whether it was cursed or if an animal was inside it.

"Ya. I--I reckon we should." They both bent down over the bundle which was now moving even more rapidly and louder cries were coming from inside it. They decided that it definitely wasn't cursed. They both took a piece of fabric and gently unfolded it until they saw what was inside.

"Bloody hell!" cried George. A baby dressed in shabby clothes that were far too big for her, was wriggling around on the now unfolded bundle of blankets.

"Do you think," Fred paused not sure of what to say, "Do ya think that this is the 'child' the Death Eaters were talking about?"

"I'm not sure Fred. I've heard rumors that he-who-must-not-be-named had had a child, but you know, I just thought----thought they were rumors to keep us feeling like we knew what was going on inside of the ministry."

"I've heard those rumors too." Fred stopped and looked as if he were trying to remember something important. "Well," he finally started, "there's only one way to know if the baby's 'his'."

"Oh, and what's that?" George said in sarcastic tone of voice.

"Well," Fred began, "it was rumored that he put a tattoo on the baby's arm, similar to the tattoo's on the Death Eaters. It was said that he gave the child a tattoo so that he could differentiate her from the other death eaters and so he could get into the child's mind and thoughts." Fred reached down to the baby, who was now shivering in the cold of the night. He took both her arms and turned them around until he saw what he was looking for. "Aha!" he said allowed. On the baby's right arm was a tattoo that looked fresh.

"Good god! It still looks wet and inky! And look at that! Her little arm is still red from the tattooing! 'He' is a sick man for doing that to his own child!". Fred nodded in agreement. A freezing cold breeze went through the air causing the baby to start crying loudly.

"For Merlin's sake Fred, pick the poor thing up and get her inside!"

"Oh! Right!" Fred seemed to come out of a trance and he scooped the baby up along with her blankets and brought her inside.

George slumped down into an arm chair and ran his fingers through his hair, stopping on the top of his scalp.

"What the hell are we supposed to do with a baby?" George said after five minutes or so.

"I suppose we should tell Mum and Dad, and ask them for help." When Fred said this George shook his head at the idea of telling their parents. "Do you know how to take care of a baby? 'Cause I sure as hell don't!" Fred shouted hotly, as he sat down in the hard, wooden chair next to George, trying to calm the baby down.

"No." George said plainly. "I just don't think it's a good idea for us to tell Mum right away. Ronald and Hermione should know plenty about taking care of babies by now, what with the twins and all that. From the looks of the baby, she's probably around the same age as Benny and Casey." George was referring to Ron and Hermione's twins, who were now around nine months old.

"I agree. We should probably wait to tell Mum and Dad about the baby--- wait. So we're keeping her now?" Fred said. He had now managed to calm the baby down by getting her to suck on his finger. "Well we can't just give her to the ministry. Can you imagine? We waltz up in there and we say , ' Here's Voldemort's kid.' . Who knows what they'd do! It's better to just tell Ron because---well I'm not sure but we can trust him more than anyone else in our family at the moment. Plus, he's not far away and we can stay close to the shop." As George said this they both fell silent.

Bill and Charlie were both in different countries, Percy was still shunning his family and Fred and George were still shunning him. Both of their minds lingered on Ginny. Ginny was captured by Death Eaters only three months ago. She didn't survive. Harry had arrived at the scene about to propose, but he was too late. Harry had slipped into a depression for about a month and had to get a substitute Defense against the dark arts teacher. He came back around eventually. Ron had been head of the auror department for a month and Fred and George knew he was their only blood relative they could easily get to and trust. It also helped that he was now the proud father of twins. A boy and a girl named Benny and Casey. At least Ron could give them advice, for the time being, about child care.

"Well it's decided then." Said Fred who had finally broken the silence.

"What?" said George, forgetting about what had just happened.

"It's decided that we're going to tell Ronald about our situation." said Fred quietly.

"Oh. Right." George said while yawning. "How 'bout telling him in the morning. I'm too sleepy to start a conversation at the moment." and with that he dis-apparated to their underground home.

Fred looked at the baby and said absent mindedly, "You remind me a lot of my friend Hailey from my second year. You have her face. I guess I'll call you that, but I'll have to see if George agrees with me. God! I hope Hailey wasn't your mother!" Fred said. He looked at the baby and felt a connection with her. It was something he had never really felt before. He did a couple of cleaning spells and checked all the locks and protecting charms in the shop.

"I probably shouldn't apparate with such a small kid." He thought aloud. So he went into the private room of his store, and moved the invisible cover that was over the trapdoor that led to his small home, and descended down a long passage way. With his wand illuminated via the lumus spell, he began the long journey to his living room.