I hope you all enjoyed the last chapter! Amber's past is finally being revealed to her! What does she have in store next? Read and find out! And please review! I really want to know if people are reading this story! Thanks!
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. I do own any characters made up for the purpose of this story. Please do not use them.
Amber made no reaction. She already knew. Her dream had been replaying in her mind as the two woman talked. Everything seemed to be fitting together now. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Hutchingson, had taken her in even though they had put themselves in danger doing so. Could that have been why they hadn't said much on the subject of her being a witch? Was that why they had written that letter saying they could no longer write? Could this be why Twilight had been attacked?
"Your real parents are still in hiding, which is why they cannot take care of you like the Hutchingsons had planned. We will find a good Wizarding family to take care of you until you are either eighteen, or your real parents can come out of hiding." Ms. Torra twined her fingers together and put her hands into her lap. "Are there any questions you have for us? We will try to answer as much as possible."
Amber looked up from her knees. "What's my real name? The one my real parents gave me?"
"The name your parents gave you was Amber Jane Tonks-Lupin. When the Hutchingsons took you in, your last name was changed," Ms. Torra explained.
"What did the prophecy say?"
Professor McGonagall and Ms. Torra glanced at one another.
"We are not sure if you want to know the prophecy, Amber," Ms. Torra gave her a sorrowful glance. "It is the very thing that put you into danger."
Amber sat straighter. "I want to know what it is that is putting me in danger. I want to know if there is anything I can do to stop me from becoming a sacrifice."
Professor McGonagall and Ms. Torra stared at her in surprise.
"Amber, how did you know the reason you were in danger was because you were the sacrifice?" Professor McGonagall eyed her from behind her glasses.
Amber swore at herself in her head for letting it slip. "I had a dream last night. About the encounter with Damelda and You-Know-Who's heir. I saw my parents come to save me. I saw what You-Know-Who's heir looked like. I also heard Damelda tell my parents that only the child born of a werewolf and a Metamorphmagus would give a person eternal life."
Professor McGonagall sighed. Ms. Torra looked even more sorrowful.
"I am so sorry, Amber. You are the child spoken of in the prophecy. Your father, Remus, is a werewolf and your mother, Nymphadora, is a Metamorphmagus," Professor McGonagall shook her head. "Are you entirely sure you want to know the contents of the prophesy?"
Amber nodded quickly.
Professor McGonagall took a deep, steadying breath. "The words may not be exact, but you will understand." She took another deep breath before continuing,
"The Child will be born at the birth of the sixth month to parents who have befriended the Chosen One...Born from a werewolf and a Metamorphmagus, the Child will give eternal life to the one who sacrifices it...Eternal life will be happy if the Child chooses...Eternal life will be horrid if the Child chooses...It is the Child's choice to surrender to death by another...The Child will be born at the birth of the sixth month to parents who have befriended the Chosen One..."
"Who's the Chosen One?" Amber questioned.
"Harry Potter is the Chosen One. Both of your parents were friends of his," Professor McGonagall said. "And I have already told you that your parents were a werewolf and a Metamorphmagus."
"And the last part? About the Child choosing a happy, or horrid life?" Amber whispered.
Ms. Torra shook her head. "We can only guess about that part. It could have multiple meanings. The most obvious is that whoever does...sacrifice the Child will either have a good eternal life, or a horrible eternal life, depending on what the Child decides."
"So, it's my choice? I can choose to surrender and be sacrificed?" Amber looked at her knees.
"That is the most likely idea," Ms. Torra nodded.
Amber slumped in her chair, still trying to grasp everything that had just been said. Her parents were a wizard and a witch. She wasn't Muggleborn after all!
Professor McGonagall seemed to read her mind. "Everything we have said here, Amber, must be kept quiet. If you must tell someone, tell only those who you would trust with your life. It is not common knowledge that the Lupins are in hiding; many people think they are deceased. We have to keep up the image that you are Muggleborn."
Amber nodded, knowing already who the few people she was going to tell were.
"If that is all, Ms. Torra and I have other work we need to get to," Professor McGonagall pushed her glasses up her nose. "Do you know which class you have next?"
"It's on my schedule, but I left it it with my stuff in my room," Amber answered. "And, Professor, I didn't get to eat breakfast."
Professor McGonagall pulled out her wand and pointed at the desk. A silver plate with a pile of perfectly cooked toast appeared.
"Thank you," Amber grabbed a few pieces of the toast.
"Wait a moment," Professor McGonagall stopped Amber before she could leave. The Headmistress pulled a piece of parchment toward her, scribbled a note, rolled it up, and sealed it with her wand. "Take this to your Professor when you get to class." She put the note into Amber's hand. "Your first class should be over in about thirty minutes. Try and hurry."
"Thank you, Professor McGonagall," Amber nodded. She left the room with rushed feet, and didn't look back.
David, Alex, and Theo all gave her curious looks when she entered the dungeon. She gave the note to Professor Zabini and sat down with them. The Potions Professor only gave her a nod after he read the note.
"As I was saying before I was interrupted, you will be practicing a fairly simple potion today that will cause the taker to hiccup excessively. The ingredients to be used are on the board. If you are missing any of them, there is enough in the student cupboards. The directions are on page twenty-six. Begin."
Alex looked about to ask Amber a question about what had happened, but David stood on his foot.
"Ouch!" Alex hissed. "What was that for?"
"Keep quiet. Amber will tell us the details later," David pulled his cauldron toward him.
The four of them started their potions, Alex looking particularly crabby. Amber was paying close attention to what she was doing; she had a feeling that this teacher was going to be hard to please. David was attempting to do his best. Alex was still a little angry and accidentally put in a wrong ingredient so that his potion turned a puce green.
Professor Zabini began gliding around the room in his dark robes, peering into cauldrons here and there and mostly keeping quiet whenever he stopped at any of the Slytherin students' cauldrons. Amber felt her cheeks reddening as the Professor came closer; Alex's potion was an even more disgusting green and smelled like rotten eggs. David's was a lighter shade than Amber's, but he didn't seem to notice. He was mumbling under his breath at Alex. Theo's potion was the exact color the book had described as the ideal hue. Phil, however, had panicked when he saw the Professor heading their way and had dropped the three bottles he was holding into his potion. It had begun bubbling over just as the Professor reached their table.
With a wrinkled nose, the Professor waved a wand over Phil's potion. "Take care not to drop any more bottles in your further potions, or you will have points taken."
Phil's face turned cherry red and he slipped under the table to retrieve his bag.
"I have to say I didn't expect this from you, Potter," Professor Zabini looked coolly at David's potion. "Your father was horrible in Potions. Perhaps you're lucky and received some of your mother's potion skills."
David didn't answer, but Amber saw that his brown eyes were ablaze.
"Amber Hutchingson," Professor Zabini was distinctly surprised. "Very good, for a...what is this, Mr. Weasley?"
Alex flinched at the look on Professor Zabini's face.
"Were you being lazy, or just inconsiderate to what you were doing?" the Professor demanded heatedly. "You have created much worse than a draught to cause hiccups, Mr. Weasley!" The Professor waved his wand over the cauldron and the potion disappeared. "Lucky for you that you didn't suggest one of your friends try this, Mr. Weasley. Next time you had better pay better attention, or I will give you detention along with decreased House points!" He turned to look at Theo. "Let us hope you have something better for me." He peered into Theo's cauldron. His eyes grew round and it was clear that he was shocked. "What is your name again? Aren't you in Gryffindor?"
"Theodore Dursley, sir. And, yes, I'm in Gryffindor," Theo answered.
Professor Zabini eyed Theodore with distaste and reverence all in one look. "Are you Muggleborn?"
"Hmmm," the Professor licked his lips. He said nothing for a moment, and then, rigidly, spun around and walked to the front of the class. "Homework! Read Chapter One and write a ten inch essay on the reasons one would use a Hiccuping Solution! Clean out your cauldrons and then you may leave!"
"How'd you do it?" Alex snapped at Theo as soon as they were by themselves. "Your potion was perfect! You saw the shock on Professor Zabini's face! Did you cheat, or something?"
Theo looked hurt for a moment, and then his face became angry. "I did not cheat! I wish people'd stop accusing me of things I haven't done! I don't know how I did it! I wasn't even really paying attention! And I didn't cheat!" Theo shoved Alex and rushed off down the corridor.
"Alex! What's gotten into you?" Amber cried.
"Nothing!" Alex answered in a high pitched voice.
"Amber, you go on ahead. I'll talk with Alex," David gave her a look that she knew meant he wanted her to leave the two boys alone.
"Alright. I'll go talk with Theo," Amber rushed off, wondering what could have possibly gotten into Alex.
Amber found Theo waiting for her by the fireplace in the common room.
"Theo, you know he didn't mean it. I think Alex is just feeling a little...left out right now," Amber sat down next to him.
Theo snorted. "Yeah, like he wants the things we're going through. What happened in the Headmistress's office, Amber?"
Amber shook her head. "I'd rather tell all of you at the same time. Did you happen to see Phil leave?"
Theo nodded. "He left right after he'd gotten his book in his bag. That Professor cleaned out his cauldron, remember?"
"Oh, yeah. That was really mean of Professor Zabini," Amber said. "Phil didn't mean to drop those bottles. And it wasn't Alex's fault he accidentally made poison."
Theo looked at her strangely.
"Your eyes looked like they changed color for a moment there," Theo shook his head. "Must have been the light. What were you saying about poison?"
"Alex made a poison without trying to. I've read all the textbooks, remember?" Amber blushed. "I remember the book saying you have to pay close attention to what you're doing, or you can create something very dangerous. It's easy to mess up."
Theo was silent a moment. "I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing. I was just...doing what felt right. I didn't even notice anyone else in the room at the time."
"I guess you're a natural at potions," Amber smiled. "I wish I was. It took a lot of concentration to get to where I was."
Theodore looked at her with a questioning look. "You really think I'm a natural?"
She nodded. "Would I lie about something like that? Oh, there's Alex and David. Come on. I bet Alex will apologize now."
Amber helped Theo to his feet and they walked over to the other two boys. David nudged Alex.
"Sorry for snapping at you, Theo," Alex grumbled. "Now, Amber, tell us what happened, or I think I'm going to burst!"
"Let's get our books first," Amber told them.
Amber told the three of them everything that had happened in the Headmistress's office. They were very surprised as she told them about her real parents, and how one was a werewolf and the other was a Metamorphmagus.
David gasped when Amber explained about her parents.
"My dad did know them! Remus Lupin was friends with my dad's dad! And Tonks!" David grinned. "She helped my dad during the war! My parents never said much about them, and now I know why!"
Amber nodded glumly. "Because they're in hiding. I can't believe I never noticed how..."
"How what?" Theo prodded her to continue.
Amber shook her head. Her eyes scanned the greenhouses they had just arrived at. "I never noticed how different I looked from my parents...I mean, my adopted parents."
"Where's Professor Longbottom?" David questioned.
"I don't see him," Alex put his hand over his eyes to block the morning sun beating down on the them.
"There he is," Amber pointed.
The door to the first greenhouse opened and Professor Longbottom walked out. He looked joyful and exuberant. His blonde hair was tucked underneath a short, forest green, pointed wizard's hat with the tip folded over unintentionally. To match his hat, he wore robes that were a deep green a little lighter than forest green.
"Good morning, class! Those who don't know me, I'm Professor Longbottom! I will be teaching you all you need to know about magical plants. We'll look at harmful plants, like the jugar; and harmless plants, like the umbrolla. For now, we'll be discussing how to tell the difference between a magical plant, and those that Muggles frequently use. Come on, everyone inside Greenhouse One!"
They crowded into the greenhouse. Amber instantly felt the stuffiness and smelled the potting soil and a rotting pile of waste full of wriggling worms. Pots of all sizes hung from the crusty, glass ceiling. Tables upon tables were full of colorful plants that ranged from the size of a fingernail to the gigantic vine that took up one table all to itself.
"Gather round here," Professor Longbottom pointed to an empty table in the middle of the greenhouse. There were stools seated around it. "Take a seat everyone, please!"
Once everyone had taken a seat, Professor Longbottom began his lesson.
"Can anyone tell me a difference between a Muggle plant, and a magical plant?" Professor Longbottom looked around at all the faces staring at him. "Anyone?"
Amber raised her hand.
"Yes, Miss Hutchingson?" the Professor smiled at her.
"A big different is if the plant moves with a free will. There's also the possibility of a plant being able to strangle people, such as the Devil's Snare. Muggle plants only move when they are growing, or when they are involuntarily moved by the wind," Amber stated clearly.
"Very good! Does anyone know what Devil's Snare is?" Professor Longbottom particularly looked at David and Alex.
David raised his hand cautiously.
"Yes, Mr. Potter?"
Heads turned to look at him. Many of the students seemed anxious to hear what he was going to say.
"Devil's Snare wraps itself around a living being and tries to strangle them. The more you move, the tighter its hold gets. The only thing that it is frightened of is light." David grinned apprehensively.
"Very good! Five points for Gryffindor for both David and Amber!" Professor Lovegood grinned. "Now, let's get out our books and read the first chapter on the multiple ways to determine whether the plant you are dealing with is a normal, Muggle plant, or a magical plant."
Amber raised her hand.
"Yes, Miss Hutchingson, I know you've already read your textbook," Professor Longbottom smiled gently. " Please, go ahead and take a look at the plants in that section over there. I'll warn you if you're straying toward any of the dangerous plants."
"Don't worry, Professor. I'll be able to tell," Amber gave him a reassuring smile and went to take a look at the harmless plants.
As she looked, Amber noticed that many of the plants looked similar to plants her mother had in her garden. When Amber had been younger, she'd enjoyed helping her mother in the garden. In fact, she'd learned the names of many of the plants, and what climates they lived in and such. A memory flooded back into her mind of a time when she'd been seven, or eight...
"Mommy, what's this plant called?" a young Amber pointed a pudgy finger at a beautiful plant that had bunches of tiny, pink and gold flowers on its vines.
Her mother paused, as if she were afraid of the plant. "I don't know, honey. Your father always wanted me to get rid of that plant, but I've tried so many times, and it just keeps coming back! It's a very stubborn little plant."
"But, Mommy, why would Daddy want to get rid of it? It's pretty!" Amber was curious.
Her mother shook her head. "No, Amber, honey, that plant is a dreadful little plant. It doesn't even have flowers on it! I have to put up with it, though."
"But, Mommy! There are flowers on it! See the little pink and gold flowers?" Amber pointed. "They're so beautiful!"
"Stop playing, Amber. There are no flowers on that plant!" Amber's mother grabbed her hand and started pulling her into the house. "Let's go wash up and have lunch. I'll make your favorite!"
Amber's mother had only allowed her back into the garden a few times after that. Over time, Amber had completely forgotten about the beautiful flowered plant that had been in her mother's garden. Now she was remembering reading something in her Herbology book that described the flowered plant exactly.
"Bonnie Flora," Amber whispered, running a finger in a trail of potting soil. "Muggles can't see the flowers, but Wizarding folk can." Her eyes scanned the harmless plants and she spotted the flowered plant that had been in her mother's garden. This time, however, the flowers were a dark navy blue and a glorious, blood red.
"Ah, I see you've taken an interest in the Bonnie Flora," Professor Longbottom was standing at her shoulder. "Muggles cannot see them, but when wizards and witches do, they show the colors that describe what that person is feeling. I can see sun yellow and sky blue. Muggle men hate the plant and try to get rid of it, but no matter how hard you try, the little plant always comes back."
"I know. My mother used to have one in her garden," Amber smiled softly. "My father always wanted to get rid of it, but my mother said she couldn't."
"Well, you must know a lot of about this little plant," the Professor smiled brightly. "If you want to stay after class, I'll give you a bloom in a small pot."
"I'd like that," Amber's smile widened.
"I thought you would," he nodded. "Let's get back to class. I'm sure the other students are done reading."
She nodded, and returned to her seat so Professor Longbottom could finish class.
Amber enjoyed the rest of class and was disappointed when they were dismissed for lunch. As they packed up, David and Phil happily discussed something that had happened to Phil when he was young, but Amber paid no attention. She gathered up her things and followed Professor Longbottom to the far end of the class work table. Alex and Theo glanced at each other briefly before catching David and Phil's attention. All four boys watched with wonderment.
Professor Longbottom carefully placed a Bonnie Flora bloom in a small pot for Amber and filled it with wet soil. "These are very special plants. They know how to survive in any climate, and in any pot or yard." He handed Amber the pot. "I have some other news for you, about your letter."
Amber saw the expressions change on her friends' faces. Theo was still more curious, while the other three were anxious.
"Was it forged?" Amber couldn't help the crack in her voice.
Professor Longbottom looked uneasy. "Not exactly. Professor Wynn took a very good look at it. The only curious thing he noticed was the handwriting was scribbled, as if the person writing were nervous, or crying."
"Could they have been kidnapped?" David blurted from the other end of the greenhouse. "Maybe someone forced her mum to write the letter!"
Professor Longbottom only sighed. "We can only speculate on the reasons. There are too many possibilities for what might have happened. For now, we have to assume your mother was only under a great stress when she wrote the letter."
Amber thought of Twilight and how he'd been injured. "Professor, what about my owl? Is it possible he went back to my house to try and get another letter, and was hurt by whoever may have been holding my adopted parents captive?"
"Adopted parents?" Phil shouted.
Amber paled. She'd just given away her parents weren't her real parents!
"Calm down, Amber. I already know about your real parents. I was acquainted with both of them during the war." Professor Longbottom motioned her toward the door. "Try and be careful next time, though. Not everyone knows. You may want to explain things to Phinidelus, also."
They headed up toward the castle for lunch, and Amber filled Phil in on everything.
"Professor, you never answered my question about my owl," Amber stated as they reached the entrance to the Great Hall.
"It's better not to assume something like that until it's proven," the Professor waved and disappeared through the door.
Amber snorted. "I wish he'd tell me what's really going on here! This is so frustrating not knowing the details!"
"Amber!" David cried.
"What?" Amber snapped angrily.
"Your hair!" David pointed.
Amber grabbed a lock of her hair and examined it. "What about it?"
"It's...black..." David squinted. "Or, at least it was."
"I saw it, too!" Alex glared at Amber's hair. "It was black until David said something."
Phil was looking at Amber with interest. "Didn't you tell me your mum was a Metamorphmagus?"
"Yes, why?" Amber dropped her hair impatiently.
"Do any of you know what a Metamorphmagus is?" Phil prodded them.
Amber, David, Alex, and Theo shook their heads.
Phil smiled a crooked smile and laughed shortly. "Metamorphmagus change their appearance at will. It's really good for disguising yourself. Amber could be one if her mum is."
Amber looked at Phil with shock. "What are you talking about? I can't change my appearance! That sounds so...fake!"
"Want to bet on it?" Phil asked.
David and Alex gave mischievous grins and looked at each other.
"Don't even think about it!" Amber snapped at them, remembering when they'd bet each other licorice wands if Professor Avis Transfigured into a bird.
"I'll go grab us some sandwiches and then we'll go find an empty classroom. I'll prove it that Amber is a Metamorphmagus." Phil left and came back with a sandwich for each of them. Then he led them to a deserted classroom with broken chairs and desks, and dust covering everything in thick layers.
"What now?" Alex wondered with a sneeze.
"We make Amber angry," Phil replied simply.
"How are we going to do that?" Theo questioned.
"Amber, I think you're the worst witch in all of history!" Phil yelped at her.
Amber rolled her eyes. "That's not going to work."
"Nobody likes you! Everybody hates you! You're a slimy, greasy, egotistical bag of vomit! You're selfish, bratty, and worst of all, you're a know-it-all!" Alex taunted, enjoying it.
Amber had her wand out and was shouting, "Petrificus Totalus!" before any of them knew what had happened. Alex fell to the stone floor, stiff as a board.
Theo cried out. "What'd you do to him?"
"I told you Amber was a Metamorphmagus!" Phil pointed at Amber.
"What?" Amber demanded.
"Here, look!" Phil passed her a metal wastebasket.
She looked at her reflection and gasped. A completely different person was staring back at her. Her eyes were now a dark brown, and her hair was black. The petite nose she called her own was longer, her lips thinner, and her cheekbones shallow.
Slowly, her normal features returned. With one hand, she touched her transforming face and wondered what was really happening.
Phil, who had muttered the countercurse so that Alex could stand and move, turned back to her. "See, I told you. Things like that usually run in the family."
"I can't control it!" Amber said worriedly. "What if something like that happens in public? Everyone would think I'm a freak! How many people are Metamorphmagus?"
Phil looked sorry for her. "It's not as common as you'd like it to be. It's very rare, actually."
Amber tossed the wastebasket aside. It clanged loudly against the wall before dropping to the floor heavily. "I don't want to be known as a freak by everyone. I barely know anyone!"
"You're not the only one, Amber," David patted Alex on the back as the red head brushed dust off his clothes. "I'm a Parselmouth."
"A what?" Amber raised an eyebrow.
"I speak to snakes," David explained. "My father does, too. He received the power from Voldemort, though. He wasn't even sure if something like that would be passed on in the family."
Amber shook her head. "That doesn't seem as bad as this. So, you talk to snakes? I start transforming in front of people, they'll think I'm a monster!"
"Amber, you're doing it again," Alex interrupted.
Amber slapped her hands over her face. "I don't like it! Why'd I get stuck with something like this? And why is it happening now?"
"We can't answer questions like that," Phil told her sadly. "But we can help you."
"How?" Amber kept her hands on her face.
"If we help you to control your metamorphing, the random transformations will stop," Phil shrugged. "I thought it was a good idea."
"It's not a good idea, it's a great idea!" David spoke up. "I know of two perfect places we can go to help Amber!"
Alex moaned suddenly. "No, no, no! I am not going anywhere near the Shrieking Shack!"
"How'd you read my mind?" David laughed. "And why not? It'll be just like what my grandpa used to do with his friends."
"What's the Shrieking Shack?" Amber wondered.
"It's an old building out in Hogsmeade. My grandpa James used to..." David stopped short.
"What?" Amber inquired with apprehension. "What is it?"
"David's grandpa James was best friends with your dad," Alex responded. "Your dad was a werewolf and he went to the Shrieking Shack with James Potter, Sirius Black, and Peter Pettigrew. James and the other two figured out how to Transfigure themselves into different animals to make it easier for your dad to...transform."
"They called themselves the Marauders," David continued, apparently having gotten control of himself. "All four of them had nicknames. My grandpa was Prongs, because he became a stag. Sirius, my dad's godfather, was called Padfoot because he turned into a dog. Your dad, he was called Moony, because...well...he was a werewolf. And Peter Pettigrew, who later was the cause of my grandparents' deaths, was called Wormtail because he could transform into a rat."
"What's the other place you were thinking about?" Phil asked David.
"It's called the Room of Requirement. My dad used it in his fifth year for DA meetings. We'll be hidden really well, and no one would bother us." David looked at each of them. "We better hurry up with a decision. Class is gonna start soon."
"Which is closer?" Amber asked.
"The Room of Requirement," David replied.
Amber thought about it for a moment. If she had their help, she could overcome the inability to control her metamorphing and there would be no worry of being called a monster in public. She finally looked up and pulled her hands from her face. "Okay, we'll do it."
End of Chapter Seven