Helena Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
My name is Helena Potter, and I'm a witch.
For ten years, I didn't know about this, but when I turned eleven, I received my Hogwarts letter and learned the truth about my past. I was the Girl Who Lived as Lord Voldemort seemed to vanished after trying and failing to kill me when I barely a year old. I learned that my so-called relatives had known and tried to force the magic out of me and they failed miserably. I went to Hogwarts the following term, and felt at home for the first time. I gained three great friends, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger and Cedric Diggory, and some of the teachers became my friend as well. At the end of the year, I faced Lord Voldemort again and barely escaped with my life and Cedric's and all four of us were rewarded as we were heroes.
During my second year at Hogwarts, I learnt more about my past and powers and about Lord Voldemort while rescuing my best friend, Cedric Diggory from some form of Lord Voldemort's sixteen-year-old self after he was possessed by Voldemort. Cedric took a while before he ever forgave himself for what had happened. However, I cheered him up by promising to tell the Dursleys he was my personal bodyguard with permission to use magic if they tried anything on me.
During my third year, I was nearly killed by Dementors until Remus Lupin, a friend of my parents, helped me become strong enough to defeat them. Sirius Black, my secret godfather had also broken out of Azkaban. He'd been wrongfully imprisoned for a murder he didn't commit and a betrayal done by another, Peter Pettigrew. I hadn't known about this until my friends and I had discovered the truth. Pettigrew had escaped and Sirius had had to run, but he always said he was safe in his letters and assured me he was happy with the fact that I knew he was innocent and cared about him. Still, when I worried about Sirius made me hold Snuffles, the stuffed dog he'd given me, closer at night so I'd feel better and not afraid.
During my fourth year, everything changed again, this time for the worst. I was forced to compete in the Triwizard Tournament alongside two rival schools and Cedric, who I secretly loved. I nearly got killed several times and then during the Third Task, Cedric and I were taken and Voldemort had returned. Cedric had been forced to watch me be tortured and then fight and nearly be killed by Lord Voldemort. Ever since then, I was more on guard as I didn't know when or where I might be attacked.
While the Dursleys had been on edge as per usual this summer because not only were they scared of Cedric my "bodyguard" who had threatened Uncle Vernon, but they were even more terrified of my godfather who was a former wrongfully convicted murderer. They were somewhat more polite as they feared what would happen if they mistreated me and then Cedric or Sirius came after them. It was quite amusing, actually
This summer was proving to be dismal as I seemed to be estranged from Hermione and Ron. They weren't clear in their letters as they always said they couldn't tell me what was going on as they'd sworn to Professor Dumbledore not to say anything to me as the owls might've been intercepted. At first, I was patient and hoped that something would happen or they'd talk to me, but nothing happened. I didn't know who I was angrier at, Ron and Hermione or Professor Dumbledore. I'd barely had a scrap of news all summer and after that had happened; no one could be honest with me. Well, not no one.
Only Cedric was detailed and honest in his letters. He told me what he was doing with his summer and also added that while he was watching for signs, he'd quit reading the Daily Prophet after Rita Skeeter's yellow journalism, and he hadn't much contact with Ron and Hermione or even Dumbledore. He wasn't even with them; he was at his new home. Cedric explained that he'd had a bad argument with Dumbledore two weeks after school let out and they weren't speaking for the time being. What the falling out was about, Cedric didn't want to say. His letters proved to be helpful as the days melted by.
And when I say 'melted,' I don't mean it figuratively. This summer was sweltering hot. Nearly everyday there were temperatures in the nineties and sometimes up to one hundred or higher. After four solid weeks at the Dursleys, I finally decided that I'd had enough and wrote to Cedric, taking him up on his offer to let me stay with him in his new house. I hadn't told anyone of my plans yet and was on the swings at the local park waiting for Cedric when Dudley and his gang came by. Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon didn't know that Dudley's bullying had gone up a level and they were beating up kids on a regular basis. I only knew because I sometimes saw it when he snuck out of the house at night.
So, there I was on the swings minding my own business when Dudley and his gang came up to me. "Well, look at what we have here."
"Leave me alone, Big D," I snarled. "Or should I call you Dung for Brains?"
"You did not just talk to me like that!" he said, angrily.
"I'll talk to you however I like, fatso. Just buzz off and leave me alone. My bodyguard's coming for me. You wouldn't want me to tell him you did something to me, would you?" I said, narrowing my eyes.
Dudley instantly paled. "Your—your bodyguard's coming?"
"Yes, he is. He's coming for me this afternoon."
"Your cousin's got her own bodyguard?" said Piers. "Since when?"
"For a while now, Rat-Face." I wasn't kidding. Piers did look like a rat, even more so than Peter Pettigrew and that's saying something.
"I'm going to tell Mum and Dad you're having people over without telling them!"
"Fine, go ahead. See if I care. If they lock me up, he'll just bust me out. Besides, I can always tell them what you're doing at night. You beat up another ten-year-old. I know you got Mark Evans last Wednesday."
"He was asking for it," said Dudley. "He was being cheeky."
"Oh, really? And what did he say; that you look like a pig on hind legs? Because that's not cheek, Dud, that's the truth."
"Whoo, that's big talk for such a small little thing. You gonna let a little girl talk to you like that Big D?" said Piers.
"No, I will not! Bodyguard or not!" said Dudley, glaring. "You're pretty brave now, Potter, when you've got your stupid bodyguard behind you, but you're not so brave at night when you're alone."
I stopped swinging and glared at him. "What're you talking about?"
"At night, when you're in bed! I hear you crying all the time." He then spoke in a mocking voice. "'Don't kill Cedric! Please, don't let him kill Cedric!' Who's Cedric, your boyfriend?"
Dudley and his gang laughed as I felt my anger rising. While the Dursleys were under the belief that Cedric was my bodyguard and had even met him two years ago, they didn't know his name.
"Shut up," I growled.
"I don't think so. There's more, isn't there. 'Mum, please don't leave me. Mum, please, stay with me, don't let him kill Cedric!' Where is your mum, Potter? Is she dead? Is she—you keep that thing away from me!"
Angry tears sting my eyes as I rose up and held my wand against Dudley's throat, making his eyes go wide with fear as he slowly backed up. None of his gang knew why Dudley was so scared of me and were wide-eyed with amazement. "Tell your friends to go, now!" I whispered, daring him to disobey. Fourteen years of buried up hatred was bursting through like a volcano about to erupt.
"Guys, just go on without me. I'm going to teach the little freak here a lesson," said Dudley, in a rather convincing tone.
The gang believed him and left and then I grabbed the front of Dudley's shirt.
"Let's get one thing straight here, fatso, you know nothing about my life or the people I love, so don't you dare, don't you dare talk about them like that again or so help me, I'll have my bodyguard and my godfather down here so fast they'll curse you into next week in two seconds flat or I might just do it myself, is that clear?" I growled.
"Perfectly!" he squeaked.
"Good." I lowered my wand and then storm clouds gathered and it became cold.
"What're you doing?" Dudley demanded. "Knock it off! I said I'd shut up!"
"I'm not doing anything!"
"Dudley, shut up!" I hissed. Then I felt it, grief, sadness, pain, and a bone-chilling cold down my spine. I turned away from Dudley as the puddles from the rain water froze. No, it couldn't be. They couldn't be here, could they? Suddenly, I saw them, two Dementors launching themselves onto me and Dudley.
Dudley, being a Muggle, couldn't see the Dementors, he would just assume I was doing this. The Dementors kept sucking out our happiness and joy as I tried to drive them off, not caring that what I was doing was illegal. I tried to think of something happy to send them away. "Expecto Patronum!" all I produced was silver vapor. "Expecto Patronum!" again, barely more than a wisp. Dudley was fading fast and so was I as tried once more to save us both. "EXPECTO PATRONUM!"
A silver doe emerged from my wand and drove off not only the first Dementor, but the second one as well.
"Ced!" I said, relieved to see him. "When did you get here?"
"Ten minutes ago. I saw the Dementors and came after you. I can't perform the Charm, but I just had to make sure you were alright," he said. "Are you?"
"I'm fine. But Dudley might not be."
"That's easily taken care of," he said. He aimed his wand at Dudley. "Oblivate! Memora Replaca Memento!"
There was a flash of light and then Dudley was unconscious.
"What did you just do?" I asked.
"Modified his memories of tonight, he won't remember anything about you tonight. Come on, let's get him to your aunt and uncle's and get out of here."
"Gladly," I said. "Thanks, Cedric. You always did know when to come for me."
"Yeah," he said. "Keep your wand out. I don't think we're out of the woods yet."
We took Dudley back to Privet Drive and into my aunt and uncle's living room. They were shocked to see Cedric, but even more frightened to see Dudley's unconscious and pale-white form.
"What happened? Why's my Dudders like this?" Aunt Petunia demanded.
"It's a long story, but the short version is we were attacked on the way back here. I stopped the attack and then Cedric got us back here," I said.
"Attacked by what?" Uncle Vernon demanded.
"Nothing you need to be concerned about," said Cedric. He handed Vernon a large bar of chocolate. "Give that to him when he wakes. It'll make him feel better if there are any side-effects from the attack."
"What is it?" asked Aunt Petunia.
"It's just chocolate. It's harmless, trust me," I said.
"Trust you? Trust you? You're probably the cause of all this!" she shrieked.
"Helena's not the cause of this!" said Cedric, sternly. "She just saved your son's life! You should be grateful to her!"
"Grateful?" Uncle Vernon spluttered. "She's the reason all of this happened! If she wasn't so abnormal—"
"Just shut up!" I shouted. "Do you think that what I'm put through is easy? You know nothing about me or the kind of life I have to lead everyday because of who I am! You never knew me before and you never will! If I am the reason that all of this happened, then I'm sorry but there's nothing I can do about it!"
Just then two owls came. One had a letter from Mr. Weasley telling me to stay put, as if I was going to listen to him now. The other was from Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic, informing me that I'd just been expelled for using magic outside of school. Just perfect! Could this night get any worse?
"What're those letters, you've got?" asked Aunt Petunia.
"None of your business," I snapped. There was no way I was telling her I'd just been expelled by the Minister of Magic for using magic to defend myself and Dudley or about the order to stay here when I wasn't going to obey it.
"You'll answer your aunt or so help me—" Uncle Vernon was cut off when Cedric held up his wand threateningly.
"She'll do no such thing," he growled. "Sit back down, now. If any of you touch so much as one hair on Helena's head, I'll curse you into oblivion!"
"Cedric, don't!" I said, warningly. "Just calm down. They won't hurt me. You're here. It's okay."
Cedric kept glaring at them. "Your precious son's memory of the attack's been removed. When he wakes up, he'll remember coming straight home after being with his friends at the park. I would advise you not to talk about it. If you do, I'll know. Is that understood?"
"Perfectly," said Aunt Petunia.
"Good," said Cedric. "Helena, is your stuff packed?"
"Yeah, it's upstairs. Let's just get out of here."
Cedric didn't take his eyes off the Dursleys as he did a Summoning Charm on my belongings and then we left the Dursleys and walked to a car and then drove to his place. It was cozy house hidden in the village with the same spell my parents had used when they'd gone into hiding.
"Wow," I said, when we came inside. The house was just wonderful. "Cedric, this place is really great."
"Thanks, I'm glad you like it," said Cedric. "Come on, let's take your things up to your room and then I'll make us some tea."
"This is my room?" I said, stunned. The bedroom was huge with lilac wallpaper, a table with a lovely lamp, a handsome wardrobe, a bookshelf with my favorite books, there was soft grey carpeting with a dark blue rug, a perch for Hedwig, and the most comfortable bed I've ever slept in. "This is brilliant! I love it. Thank you."
He smiled. "You're-Welcome."
We got settled in and made some tea and talked for a while as we sat on the living room's sofa and then I asked Cedric something. "Ced, what was your falling out with Professor Dumbledore about? Tell me, please. I want to know."
He sighed. "Dumbledore offered the chance to do whatever it is he's doing and when I asked why he wasn't including you, he thought it'd be better if you were kept in the dark for the time being. He thinks you're better off when you're not so close to him. I got angry. I said you didn't deserve to be lied to after everything that'd happened and called him an old fool for abandoning you like that and then I left."
"I can't believe this," I said, shocked. "Why would he think staying away from me is better if he's the one Voldemort's always been scared of? How can he think I should be kept in the dark when there's a madman after me with his own army?"
"I don't know, Helena, but he does. This is why I left and haven't spoken to everyone very much. I didn't want to lie to you or hide from you. I couldn't agree to that. It wasn't fair to you and you didn't need it."
"Thanks, Ced. At least someone can be honest with me. I just don't understand. We saw Voldemort come back, we went through that insane Tournament and no one, not even Professor Dumbledore or Ron and Hermione are willing to be truthful with us. They just keep us in the dark, why? Why?"
"I don't know, Helena. I just don't know."
He took me into his arms and held me as I pressed my head into his chest and sighed. When I'd left Hogwarts for the summer, I knew things were going to change, but not so much that I'd end up with divided loyalties and estranged friends. I didn't know what to think. Was I more loyal to Professor Dumbledore or Cedric now?
Two weeks went by. In those two weeks, Cedric and I were quite comfortable in his home. We worked and talked and enjoyed ourselves a little. On the second day after leaving Privet Drive, Hedwig came back with a letter from Mr. Weasley saying that Dumbledore had secured me a hearing so I wasn't technically expelled, yet. The hearing would decide if I would return to Hogwarts or not. I maintained some contact with the others, and assured them constantly that I was okay and perfectly safe with Cedric, but flat-out refused to say where I was as I was still angry with them for withholding information from me and I wasn't the Secret-Keeper, Cedric was.
On the fifteenth day, I had just woken up when Hedwig flew in with a letter with Sirius's handwriting on it. I hadn't heard from him in a while, so I was surprised that he'd written at all. I opened it and read the following.
I know I haven't been keeping contact with you this summer, so you must be surprised that I'm writing at all. For that, I'm profoundly sorry. I know that you are quite angry with us for obeying Dumbledore's orders not to tell you more than he thinks you need to know, and you have every right to be, but you must believe me when I say that I only did it because I thought you would be safer as he said you'd be. Obviously, this was not the case and I sorely regret my actions, as do Ron and Hermione; believe me. We're all terribly sorry and hope you can forgive us.
I know you're safe and comfortable with Cedric, but as your godfather and friend I'm still worried about you, we all are. I've had a very long talk with the others and we've come to a decision. If you and Cedric would be willing to stay at Number Twelve Grimmaud Place—my old home—for the last few weeks of summer, then we'll explain everything and answer all your questions, I promise. If you choose not to come, then I'll understand and there'll be no hard feelings. If you choose to come, then someone will come to pick you up and you'll be welcomed here. Send word when you've chosen.
I sighed and went into the kitchen where Cedric was cooking breakfast.
"Morning," he said. Then he saw the look on my face. "What's wrong?"
"Sirius wrote," I said, holding up the letter. "Read it. I think you'll find it interesting."
He read it and his face was unreadable.
"Do you want to go?" he asked.
"I don't know. I want answers, but at the same time, I still feel so mad."
"Is it Sirius, you're mad at?"
"No," I admitted. "Just everyone else except you and him."
He sighed. "Look, Helena, heaven alone knows how mad I am with Dumbledore, and you know I don't like this either, but for Sirius's sake, maybe we should said say yes and go. But I'll only go if you do."
I sighed. I did want to see Sirius again and maybe I could patch things up with Ron and Hermione. "Okay, we'll go. I'll send the reply after breakfast."
"Alright, then," said Cedric.
After breakfast, and another long talk with Cedric, I wrote out a reply.
I've spoken with Cedric and we've agreed to say yes. We'll do it. We'll meet whoever you're sending at the train station on Rose Road the day after tomorrow at five o'clock. Thank you for deciding to be honest with me and give me some answers about what's going on. I accept your apology and you're forgiven. I look forward to seeing you again soon. Take care of yourself and say hello to Ron and Hermione for me.
Two nights later, Cedric and I had packed up our belongings and were waiting outside the station when a deep slow voice said, "Mr. Diggory? Miss Potter?"
It was an African man with three other people, a woman with purple hair and a heart-shaped face, the real Mad-Eye Moody, and Lupin.
"Lupin!" I said, as I hugged him. "Oh, it's so good to see you."
"It's great to see you too, Helena," he said, smiling. "How're you? Are you and Cedric alright?"
"We're fine," said Cedric. "So, we recognize Moody. Who're your other friends?"
"This Kingsley Shacklebolt and Nymphadora Tonks, some of the best Aurors ever to take on the job," said Lupin.
"Don't call me Nymphadora, Remus, just Tonks," said Tonks.
"It's a pleasure to meet you," I said, as I shook their hands. "And it's good to see you again, Moody."
"I fail to see that, I never did actually meet you until I was let out of that trunk the scum put me in," said Moody, gruffly.
"How're we getting to Padfoot's?" asked Cedric.
"Brooms," said Shacklebolt. "It's the only way. Helena's too young to Apparate and the Floo Network is being watched."
"A Disillusion Charm, then?" said Cedric.
"Yes," said Tonks. "Care to the honors?
"Helena, this might feel funny, but just hold still," said Cedric.
He performed the spell and suddenly I was camouflaged. Freaky. We then got on our brooms and flew out into the night sky. We flew so high we were in the clouds, it was chilly and wet, but refreshing compared to the heat we'd been experiencing for the past six weeks. It felt so wonderful to be flying again, I felt like I was truly free of every burden in my life, even if it was only for a moment.
We eventually arrived and entered a dusty, dimly lit house. It was something of a dark pit. I didn't know how Sirius could stand it, but it was better than the Dursleys. As Lupin took our things upstairs, and the others went into the kitchen, Mrs. Weasley hugged Cedric and I tight.
"Helena, Cedric, how lovely to see you again!" she said. "I got so anxious when we found out you'd left the Dursleys. Normally, I'd scold you good, but seeing as how you're both safe and alright, I'll let it slide. Well, Cedric, I must say you know how to take care of a girl. Helena looks much healthier. What do those Muggles give her?"
"Thank you, Mrs. Weasley," I said, before Cedric could speak.
"Now, I know you both want answers, but they'll have to wait until after dinner which is in ten minutes. In the meantime, Ron and Hermione are upstairs in the second room on your right. Why don't you go see them? They've been anxious to talk to you ever since we got your owl," said Mrs. Weasley.
"Fine," said Cedric. "Come on, Helena."
I followed Cedric upstairs and then we knocked on the door.
"Who is it?" said Hermione.
"It's the pizza people. Who the heck do you think it is?" I said.
The door then flung open and then we were hugged tight by Hermione.
"Helena, Cedric!" said Hermione. "I'm so glad you're alright. I know you said you were both safe, but I've been worried sick."
"Let them, breathe, Hermione," said Ron, looking amused. "They just got here."
"We heard about the Dementor attack," said Hermione, ignoring Ron. "You must tell us everything. I can't believe they're doing this. They simply can't expel you, they can't. It's completely unfair."
"Yeah, there's a lot of that going on at the moment," said Cedric.
I sighed. "Guys, look, I'm sorry for my behavior this summer. I was a complete jerk and an idiot. I'm really, really sorry. However mad I am at Dumbledore, you don't deserve it. Can you ever forgive me?"
They smiled and hugged me again.
"We forgive you, Helena," said Hermione.
"Yeah, how could we not?" said Ron.
"Does the same go for me?" asked Cedric.
"Yes, you big idiot, it goes for you too. But honestly, if you ever run off like that again, we'll smack you good," said Hermione, as we all laughed.
"So, what is this place?" I asked.
"It's the Headquarters for the Order of the Phoenix," said Ron. "It's a group sworn to fight You-Know-Who. After the Third Task, Dumbledore started it up again. They haven't let us in on their meetings, but Sirius said that they think Voldemort's after something, but they're not sure what. We really did want to talk to you both, but after Cedric left, and you were left at the Dursleys, he made us swear not to tell you anything.
"So, Dumbledore really thinks that keeping me in the dark is for the best; does he?" I said, angrily. "Why?"
"He said the owls might've been intercepted," said Hermione.
"He could've sent information another way. He's not exactly without resources, is he?" said Cedric. "We're not mad at you, we're mad at him."
"You have every right to be," said Hermione. "But come on, guys, he was doing what he thought was best. If you can't trust Dumbledore, then who can you trust?"
"We never said we didn't trust him, we said we didn't agree with his methods. Quite frankly, I'm not sure I approve of anything he does anymore," I said.
Before they could reply, the door opened, revealing my godfather looking healthier, well-dressed and happier than I'd seen him two years ago.
"I heard my goddaughter was up here. Can this fine young woman really be here? Is this my little Lena?" he said, smiling.
My face lit up as I ran into Sirius's arms and we hugged each other tight.
"Sirius, I've missed you so much," I said. "You look wonderful. How are you?"
"I'm fine, I'm quite alright," said Sirius. "But better for having you here in my arms. I've missed you too, Helena. I'm glad to see you. Are you alright?"
"Yeah, I'm fine."
"I've been taking good care of her, Sirius, just like I promised," said Cedric.
"Excellent, excellent. I knew I could count you on, Cedric," said Sirius. "Well, come on down. Molly's made her specialty, roast beef and raspberry cobbler. After dinner, we'll explain everything, I promise."
"Thank you," I said, relieved.
And then we went downstairs.