July 31st, 1992

I had always hated days like today; always. 'Special events' hosted by the Dursleys always involved 'special attention' from my cleaning skills, and even though I had been been put through days like this for my entire life, my cleaning was apparently never up to par for Aunt Petunia's fine-tuned eye.

Our other keeper had been having a nice row with my twin about his owl (who was making too much noise) and about the 'cat fur' all over his clothes. I had of course reminded him that Circe was a kneazle, while not letting him know that I had purposely let her into his closet to tromp around on his recently let out trousers. Nonetheless, Harry didn't know when to stop asking and hence had gotten into more trouble than I did...as usual. Uncle Vernon, though wrong to complain, was not complaining about the wrong things; poor Hedwig hadn't been let out of her cage all summer and was making a lot of noise because of it. The poor girl needed to fly and stretch her wings, but her small cage and our tough boundaries weren't making it easy. To top it all off, we had not been able to owl anyone for the entirety of July ‒ the Dursleys' real plan, no doubt.

My uncle, though I hated having to call him such a thing, cleared his throat at the head of the table, letting me surface from all of the chemicals I had been cleaning and scrubbing with. Aunt Petunia did not even take her usual moment to scrutinize my work, instead staring straight at her husband, like a soldier awaiting her orders. This was it: the battle plan for the evening. She wanted to hear exactly what she was supposed to do. Again. For the fiftieth time this week.

"Now, as we all know, today is a very important day."

I looked at my brother, giving him a sarcastic grin. It was a very important day. Today was our birthday...not that the Dursleys ever paid attention to such an important occasion. Today we were twelve years old.

"Today could well be the day I make the biggest deal of my career," finished Uncle Vernon. Not even close to the idea I had been trying to raise.

Harry came over and dropped a piece of toast into my hands. I ignored all the chemicals that were probably on my skin and took a bite out of it ‒ they gave it an odd taste. I probably shouldn't have continued eating it, but food was scarce with Dudley around, who had just eaten a frying pan full of bacon by himself that we weren't allowed to touch. He would be glad to have the toast too.

Harry and I had heard the pitch since the beginning of this stupid dinner party's creation. Some rich builder and his wife were coming to dinner, and Uncle Vernon's company, that made drills, wanted to get some huge order from him. This was his time to lock down the deal of his dreams.

"I think we should run through the schedule one more time," said Uncle Vernon. "We should all be in position at eight o'clock. Petunia, you will be?"

"In the lounge," Aunt Petunia had been waiting to be called upon. "Waiting to welcome them graciously to our home."

Uncle Vernon was pleased by her well rehearsed response. "Good, good. And Dudley?"

"I'll be waiting to open the door," I cringed at the smile he attempted. "May I take your coats, Mr. and Mrs. Mason?"

"They'll love him!" Aunt Petunia cooed. Someone might as well, I thought. I had a hard time imagining anyone besides she and Uncle Vernon that could. Why not try to get two more on that sinking ship?

"Excellent, Dudley," said Uncle Vernon. He glared at at the two of us like we were mud on his shoes. "And you two?"

"We'll be in our new bedroom," I was sure to emphasize the bitterness.

"Making no noise and pretending we're not there," Harry finished tonelessly.

"Exactly," said Uncle Vernon nastily. "I will lead them into the lounge, introduce you, Petunia, and pour them drinks. At eight-fifteen-"

"I'll announce dinner," Aunt Petunia was far too eager to participate in her role. It was disturbing, in a way.

"And, Dudley, you'll say-"

"May I take you through to the dining room, Mrs. Mason?" said Dudley; he offered his fat arm out to the side as if to do so to Mrs. Mason. For fun, I almost offered to take it. He looked so taken aback that he slapped his arm back to his side and winced as he shoved his elbow into his ribs. I smiled.

"My perfect little gentleman!" sniffed Aunt Petunia, ignoring our exchange.

"And you?" said Uncle Vernon viciously to the two of us, not ignoring what I had just done to his beloved piglet.

"We will still be in our room," Harry continued, his voice no longer toneless as he watched Dudley try to examine his ribs for a bruise.

"Making no noise and pretending we are not there," I finished, my tone, as always, seemed to bother my uncle. He let out some kind of huff as a warning and his words came out sharply.

"Precisely. Now, we should aim to get in a few good compliments at dinner. Petunia, any ideas?"

"Vernon tells me you're a wonderful golfer, Mr. Mason. Do tell me where you bought your dress, Mrs. Mason..."

"Perfect...Dudley?"

"How about: 'We had to write an essay about our hero at school Mr. Mason, and I wrote about you.'"

It was too much. Aunt Petunia began to howl, which only made it worse for both Harry and I. She had tears in her eyes, and Harry and I had tears in our eyes, but she was allowed to cry because she was a mother. So while she cried of pride and an overwhelming amount of love, or a false sense of good-parenting, Harry and I had to turn so quickly on our heels that we nearly crashed into each other. Both of us fumbled for a piece of bread to shove into the the toaster, trying to busy ourselves so that we wouldn't give ourselves away, while our shoulders shook as we fought hard to hold in our laughter ‒ it didn't work. I could feel Uncle Vernon's glare on my back.

"And you two?"

I took a deep breath, barely able to hold my in my laughter. There was no way in any of Hogwart's houses that I had a hope of holding back my smile with so little warning.

"We will be in our room," my voice wavered a little at the end.

"Making no noise and pretending we're not there," Harry finished. He'd had a few seconds more than me to calm down, so he did a little better...but I could still see the tears dancing in his eyes. It only got worse as we saw Aunt Petunia still hugging Dudley to her chest, a stupid grin on his face like a dog who's still dwelling in a fog of too many "good boys.'"

"Too right you will." Uncle Vernon nodded, his eyes narrowed. "The Masons don't know anything about you, and it's going to stay that way. When dinner's over, you take Mrs. Mason back to the lounge for coffee, Petunia, and I'll bring the subject around to drills. With any luck, I'll have the deal signed and sealed before the news at ten. We'll be shopping for a vacation home in Majorca this time tomorrow."

"What big dreams you have, Uncle Vernon," I noted lightly. "And to think, I only wanted to see the Short-Snouts in Sweden."

"The what?" Dudley dared to asked. I smiled, glad I had lured one in.

"Those are dragons."

"You-you-" Uncle Vernon's face had once again grown purple, just as they had earlier in the day when Harry had spoken the M word. I put my finger out.

"I didn't say it," I pointed out. "You can't get mad!"

"You tricked him!" Aunt Petunia accused. "Oh, you're just so much more awful now!"

"They could have been dogs, but he asked specifically. I'm not going to lie to my cousin," I told her, giving an air of being offended by the very idea. But she wasn't wrong, I was much less afraid of her and much more outspoken after my first year at Hogwarts. I had learned a lot after being sorted into Slytherin ‒ a lot about my family and a lot about myself. I would not let them bully me as they had the years before now... they would not get away with the abuses they had in the past. Never again. I was something to be feared now, I was something that would fight back. And if that was from only one year there, what would I be like after third year, fifth year, seventh year?

"Get upstairs," Uncle Vernon hissed. "You're done for the day. I'm off to town to pick up the dinner jackets for Dudley and me. You two ‒ stay out of your aunts' way while she's cleaning."

Harry and I didn't hesitate, we instantly left through the back door so that we could get out into the brilliant sunny day. We both walked over to a bench nearby ‒ there was no need to talk about it as it was a bench we often frequented. When we sat down, I handed him a letter.

"Happy Birthday."

"Is it mail?" He got excited, tearing apart the envelope as if it would be something akin to the Hogwarts letter we were both anticipating. A part of me wished I could have given it to him.

"No, not really," I sighed. "I made it look like it, though. Figured it may just be nice to see and hold. Haven't gotten any myself. I also thought that maybe if you showed it around Uncle Vernon, he may realize you're getting mail anyway and let Hedwig out a few times."

"Thanks," his voice didn't sound very thankful, but I understood his disappointment. "That's smart thinking."

Harry and I sat in silence for a long time after that, but I knew what he was thinking ‒ it was what I was thinking. We both knew why we couldn't send letters; his owl was out of commission. Hedwig was literally behind bars and could not do our bidding...but our friends had owls. They had owls that could fly and some of my friends had owls that had owls to do their bidding for them. Theodore often went over to Malfoy's, who had a whole owlery ‒ or so he said. It could have been a lie; but even then, he had Heracles. Daphne hadn't sent me anything. My roommates hadn't even sent me anything to taunt me. I hadn't expected Ron to send me anything of course, but I expected Hermione to at least send me a book for my birthday ‒ she had promised as much.

But nothing.

None of them had sent us anything.

There had been nothing from anyone at all.

Of all the birthdays where I had never gotten anything ‒ and there were more of those than not ‒ this was by far the worst, because all I wanted was a sign that people hadn't forgotten about me.

It was terrible, but it did bring me a small comfort that Harry hadn't gotten anything either... If Harry had gotten something and I hadn't, that would mean I was really forgotten, as I often was after the Boy Who Lived walked by. And somehow, that would be much, much worse after everything that had happened last year. I thought I had paved my own way, made my own friends, really divided myself until the whole 'Voldemort has returned and Harry defeated him again without you really doing much' had happened.

Just one more month. I could survive one more month of scaring Dudley with magical phrases that don't exist and swishing my hands around like a dancer without a wand. They didn't know we couldn't perform underage magic. They didn't know even with my wand I probably wouldn't be able to do anything anyway. All they needed to know was I had magic and they didn't, and they should regret how they treated my twin and I for all those years because you can't take back those things.

Just like I won't take back the emotional trauma I'm going to cause them now.

"Are you thinking about how much you miss everyone too?" Harry asked me.

I thought about the dark twist my thoughts had taken and shrugged. "Something like that."

"I miss last year," Harry sighed.

"I miss parts of last year," I decided to correct, he nodded his head at me, immediately going to touch his scar and thinking about everything that had happened the year before ‒ the darkest wizard of all time infiltrated Hogwarts on the back of our professor's head, was close to my brother and I, and specifically my brother going confront him face to back-of-the-head-face was not something I missed. Harry still had nightmares about it. It left me having horrible migraines long into the days because of all my lack of sleep.

So no, I didn't miss all of last year.

Harry jumped to his feet suddenly, looking as if he had seen Nearly Headless Nick in the middle of the Drive. "Did you just see-"

"I know what day it is," Dudley sang, catching my attention. He was waddling over from the house, making a bee-line for us with business on his mind; I never liked when he had this look of confidence. In the past it would mean a good bullying, but now it meant a good time to bully. Today, though, I just didn't feel like spending the energy.

"No," I rolled my eyes. "I didn't see him coming. Some warning would have been nice."

"No, there was something-"

"I said," Dudley repeated ever-louder, coming to stand right in front of the two of us. "I know what day it is."

"Well done," I rolled my eyes.

"So you've finally learned the days of the week," Harry agreed, shaking off whatever seemed to have spooked him.

"Today's your birthday," Dudley sneered, shaking off the jibe. "How come you two haven't got any cards? Haven't you even got friends at that freak place?"

"Better not let your mum hear you talking about our school," Harry said coolly, his eyes narrowing on our cousin. Dudley's trousers were slipping down his large bottom and he took the time to rudely hike them up his rear.

"She may think you're interested in going," I agreed. "We could always try to sneak you in. Might like you there for practice, you know..."

"Why're you staring at the hedge?" Dudley interrupted me brusquely, as usual. I took a moment to look at the hedge, peering at it to see what the hell Dudley could be on about, but I didn't see anything there.

"I'm trying to decide what would be the best spell to set it on fire," Harry responded easily. Dudley immediately panicked, stumbling backward and turning pale.

"You c-can't ‒ Dad told you you're not to do m-magic ‒ he said he'll chuck you out of the house ‒ and you haven't got anywhere else to go ‒ you haven't got any friends to take you-"

"Jiggery pokery!" I screamed from behind him, making Dudley jump at least his own height in the air as he swivelled to look at me.

"Hocus pocus!" Harry screamed from behind his back, which was now turned to him. Dudley jumped again, now not knowing who the least trustworthy twin was. "Squiggly wiggly-"

"MUUUUUUM!" Dudley howled, tripping over himself as he ran quickly toward the house again. "MUUUUM! They're doing you know what!"

"You don't have any matches, do you?"

Harry gave me a look. "No, why?"

"I figure we'd be in less trouble if we actually lit it on fire," I sighed, looking back to the hedge. "What were you looking at?"

Harry looked back to the hedge, inspecting it as if expecting to see whatever it was still there. When he didn't see whatever he thought he had, he shrugged his shoulders. "Not a clue. Do you reckon they'll make us clean or do the gardens?"

"Both," I sighed. "Want to battle for who does what?"

Harry stopped to play me rock-paper-scissors to decide. Neither of us wanted to work inside with the Dursleys, even if it meant we would be stuck getting burnt outside. I won with rock, but on the last minute decided to let him do the outdoor work ‒ half the inside cleaning was done already thanks to Aunt Petunia's militant work the past few days...I'd have a lot less to do if I stayed indoors. Besides, I burnt a lot more easily than Harry did.

While Aunt Petunia made a glorious meal ending with her signature pudding topped with whipped cream and sugared violets for the Masons, she left two slices of bread and a lump of cheese for both Harry and I on the kitchen table. Apparently, we were akin to mice in her household. She was already dressed fancily, as were the men, who were in coats so tight that they looked like bursting hot dogs. Harry looked like a wreck when he came in to eat, he also smelled horrible ‒ but I let it go. I'd given him the short end of the stick on purpose, so I wouldn't poke fun at him.

"Remember, one sound-" Uncle Vernon warned at the foot of the stairs as I went up after our horrible dinner. I looked at him, opening my mouth as if to argue. He gave me a stink eye and I made a face as if it wasn't worth arguing and instead sighed wearily, making a show of hopping up the stairs animatedly, but quietly.

I made it to the bedroom after my brother, which may have been the reason I handled seeing the strange creature sitting on his bed a little better than he seemed to. The creature was small, but had large, green eyes the size of tennis balls and bat-like ears. He looked like he would leave smudge and dirt prints everywhere he touched, and while Harry was trying to find his voice, all I could hear downstairs was the sound of the dinner party starting, with Dudley trying to make his voice sound even more annoying than it usually did.

"May I take your coats, Mr. And Mrs. Mason?"

The creature slipped off the bed and bowed so that the end of it's long nose touched the matted carpet near his long and spindly toes. The pillowcase that seemed to adorn him crumpled under his thin frame.

"Er ‒ hello," Harry tried.

"How about, 'what in Merlin's name is happening'?" I attempted.

"Harry and Audrey Potter!" The creature had a squeaky, high pitched voice that I knew would carry down the stairs like a dog toy. "So long has Dobby wanted to meet you, particularly you, sir... Such an honour it is..."

"Yeah, most people say that to him," I muttered, circling around the room to get a better look at the little thing standing in the middle of our floor.

"Th-thank you," Harry said, edging along the wall to try to sink into the chair next to Hedwig. "Who are you?"

"What are you?" I asked even more pointedly.

"Dobby, sir. Just Dobby," Dobby responded to Harry, before the creature looked to me with his giant, beedy eyes. "Dobby the house-elf."

"Oh ‒ really?" Harry asked, sounding falsely polite. "Er ‒ I don't want to be rude or anything, but ‒ this isn't a great time for me to have a house-elf in my bedroom."

"I'm pretty sure this is breaking and entering," I agreed as Aunt Petunia's laugh filled the room from downstairs. "In this world, you'd be locked in a cell for that."

Dobby hung his head.

"Not that we're not pleased to meet you," Harry said quickly, giving me a glare and a look now that Dobby wasn't looking. I shrugged my shoulders and mouthed to him that we needed to get him out, to which Harry gave an indication that he didn't know what else to do. "But, er," he continued, obviously feeling lost, "is there any particular reason you're here?"

"Oh, yes sir. Dobby has come to tell you..." his eyes quickly motioned to me, almost as if he were nervous to speak. "Dobby wonders where to begin..."

"Sit down," Harry offered, pointing to the bed. To my horror, the elf's eyes widened to the size of Aunt Petunia's finest dinner plates before they glossed over and he burst into the noisiest tears I'd ever witnessed.

"S-sit down!" Dobby howled. "Never...never ever..."

The voices downstairs faltered.

"Great," I looked to my brother. "Now you've done it."

"I'm sorry," Harry whispered, "I didn't mean to offend you or anything-"

"I'm going to really be offended if we become homeless though," I whispered even more quietly, "so if we could try to avoid that, it'd be-"

"Offend Dobby?" The elf asked with a great, shuddering breath. "Dobby has never been asked to sit down by a wizard ‒ like an equal-"

Harry trying to hush him was not reassuring, and me trying to smother him would have looked far too aggressive, so instead my brother took the lead and took the sobbing elf to the bed where he sat him down, as promised. The little noise-maker managed to control himself while Harry was knelt in front of him.

"You can't have met many decent wizards," I said blandly. "Do they only let you sit on the rubbish bins, then?"

Dobby went to shake his head, but then without warning, he leapt up and started to bang his head furiously on the window, shouting, "Bad Dobby! Bad Dobby!"

"Don't ‒ what are you doing?" Harry was quick to spring up and yanked Dobby back to the bed. The elf had woken up Hedwig, who had given a loud screech and batted her wings against the cage. Downstairs the conversation had halted again.

"Dobby had to punish himself, sir," the elf explained, rubbing his hands against his forehead. "Dobby almost spoke ill of his family, sir..."

"Your family?"

"The wizard family Dobby serves, sir... Dobby is a house-elf ‒ bound to serve one house and one family forever..."

"Purebloods," I filled in for Harry, moving to take another look at Dobby's newest injury. After giving him a look the little elf moved his hand away from his forehead. He had caught his forehead on the clip that locked our window and it had torn the skin. "I was saving this for when I needed it, but I guess I can spare just a touch...but only if you promise that you'll quiet down ‒ you're going to get us in a lot of trouble if you keep up all this racket."

The house-elf looked at me with wide, amazed eyes.

"But ‒ but missus...Audrey Potter...you…"

"Promise me you'll be quiet," I said sternly.

The elf seemed to swallow hard before nodding his head.

I crawled over to one of my last hiding places in the closet, or at least one of the last ones that Harry knew about, where I kept Circe's second collar that I had gotten her. On it was a large, dangling charm that happened to be hollow and come apart. Earlier in the school year I had stored away some murtlap essence in there; I hadn't realized it would be of such great value then, but now I was hoarding it away from the Dursleys. They couldn't know I had this left. They had taken my trunk, my books, my wand, and they had tried to take my kneazle, so I knew they wouldn't hesitate to take away this too. So even though I didn't know a lot about this creature or why he was here, maybe if I healed him we could finish up this conversation and he could leave before he got us into any serious trouble, and I could keep things like my murtlap a secret.

"What about Purebloods?" Harry asked, bringing me back to the topic that I had forgotten about.

I rolled my eyes. "I hear talk of it all the time with the Slytherins. Lots of them have them, some of them treat them horribly. I know people like Moon and Nott wouldn't be that bad with how they treat them, but can you imagine what people like Greengrass and Malfoy do with theirs? They're likely cruel and loyal to a fault."

"We elves always serve our masters ‒ that's why Dobby must punish himself for being here, missus," he explained, moving his head to look from Harry to me.

"Don't move again," I told him simply while I wiped some of the murtlap onto the newest cut. He let out a little sound as it was pressed on the deep cut there and gasped when it magically tingled.

I frowned when I realized that this annoying little house-elf had probably never been healed before. That was sad, even to me.

Harry seemed to immediately understand, while he looked down to Dobby's big eyes again. "Do they know you're here?"

Dobby shuddered, as if he were rejecting the answer from his body.

"Oh, no sir, no... Dobby will have to punish himself most grievously for coming to see you, sir. Both of you. Dobby will have to shut his ears in the oven door for this. If they ever knew, sir-"

"But won't they notice if you shut your ears in the oven door?" I asked, looking at just how big they were.

"Dobby doubts it, missus. Dobby is always having to punish himself for something, missus. They lets Dobby get on with it, missus. Sometimes they reminds me to do extra punishments..."

I narrowed my eyes. "What family do you serve?"

"And why don't you leave? Escape?"

"A house-elf must be set free, sir. And the family will never set Dobby free... Dobby will serve the family until he dies, sir..."

Harry stared, amazed by what he was hearing. I hated to admit that I wasn't as shocked.

"And I thought we had it bad staying here for another four weeks," Harry said. While I was about to argue that we do and remind him just how much we've gotten to eat today, and that this was a magical being that had gotten to use a form of apparition to get here, I decided against it. I didn't want this conversation to continue any longer than needed since this creature was so unpredictable, and our punishment was already adding up in Uncle Vernon's head. "This makes the Dursleys sound almost human. Can't anyone help you? Can't I?"

Harry should have kept his mouth shut, because the little bat started to wail again.

Another for Uncle Vernon's tally, I'm sure.

"Please," Harry whispered frantically, "please be quiet. If the Dursleys hear anything, if they know you're here-"

"You have to be quiet, remember?" I whispered much more menacingly, "You promised me. I only get in trouble when I deserve to get in trouble."

"Harry Potter asks if he can help Dobby... Dobby has heard of your greatness, sir, but of your goodness, Dobby never knew..." his eyes looked to me. "And Audrey Potter...you are just as he says...he says you were mean but really too kind and that's-that's all that really matters..."

My eyes narrowed again. "He who?"

"Whatever you've heard about my greatness is a load of rubbish. I'm not even top of my year at Hogwarts; that's Hermione." Harry began, his face red.

"And I'm not kind," I took over from him, "though I am near the top of the class."

"Harry Potter is humble and modest, he speaks not of his triumph over He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named." Dobby's eyes were wide and amazed. He did not say the same about me and I couldn't help but frown. "But Audrey Potter is worried about others...that is kind. She has not met him yet...no, no, not yet..."

"Not ever," I repeated, giving Harry a look. "Voldemort is dead."

Dobby clapped his hands over his giant ears and hissed. "Ah, speak not the name, missus! Speak not the name!"

"Sorry! Sorry!" I said quickly, looking over to my brother worriedly. "I know lots of people don't like it. None of my friends in Slytherin do..."

"Dobby heard tell," he said hoarsely, his eyes looking to Harry with an innocent glow, "that Harry Potter met the Dark Lord for a second time just weeks ago...that Harry Potter escaped yet again."

"Harry's a hero yet again," I mumbled, while Harry nodded and Dobby teared up. "Why does this matter to a house-elf?"

"Ah, sir," Dobby dabbed the filthy pillowcase he was wearing to the corner of his eye. "Harry Potter is valiant and bold! He has braved so many dangers already! But Dobby has come to protect Harry Potter, to warn him, even if he does have to shut his ears in the oven door later...Harry Potter must not go back to Hogwarts."

The knives and forks downstairs, along with Uncle Vernon's voice, were the only sounds before I let out a guffaw.

"What?"

"But I've got to go back ‒ term starts on September first," Harry agreed, when he finally found his voice. "It's all that's keeping me going. You don't know what it's like here. I don't belong here. I belong in your world ‒ at Hogwarts."

"No, no, no," squeaked Dobby, shaking his head so hard his ears flapped. "Harry Potter must stay where he is safe. He is too great, too good, to lose. If Harry Potter goes back to Hogwarts, he will be in mortal danger!"

"Why?" Harry said in surprise. Dobby's eyes looked from Harry over to me for a moment, his eyes looking like he didn't know whether or not he could trust me with the secret for a moment, before he leaned in as if it was the only time he found it fit to whisper during the whole ordeal.

"There is a plot, Harry and Audrey Potter. A plot to make most terrible things happen at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry this year," Dobby trembled. "Dobby has known it for months. Harry Potter must not put himself in peril. He is too important, sir!"

"What terrible things?" said Harry at once. "Who's plotting them?"

Dobby made a funny choking noise and then banged his head frantically against the wall.

"All right!" I cried out, grabbing Dobby to stop him. "We get it, you can't say anything. But why are you warning him then? And why can't he go, but I can?"

"Audrey Potter should not go where Harry Potter cannot protect her, missus," he squeaked and trembled. "But ‒ but I cannot interfere missus. I ‒ I..."

Dobby trailed off, moving his head toward the wall again. I glared at him darkly, which made his eyes widen while I shook my head.

"So what? I can't go to Hogwarts because something wants to kill Harry again? No ‒ if this starts becoming a pattern, I'm just going to start ignoring it because obviously nothing really bad happens to me during these patterns, see?" I pointed towards my scar that held very little significance, but Dobby shrank away from it as if it was the most terrifying thing he had ever seen.

"Hang on," Harry suddenly announced, though he still managed to keep his voice quiet. "This hasn't got anything to do with Vol ‒ sorry ‒ with You-Know-Who, has it? You could just shake or nod," he added hastily as Dobby's head tilted worryingly close to the wall again.

Dobby shook his head, "Not...not He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, sir..."

"Well, he hasn't got a brother, has he?" I asked bitterly, Dobby shook his head with eyes wider than ever. "Good, because they're right pains."

"Drea..."

"What? You are. Look what you've gotten us into! Another warning of possible death? I don't need this, Harry. Listen here, Dobby," I turned to the little elf, who looked absolutely terrified so I tried to soften my tone. "We appreciate this warning, but if he has no brother we need to be worried about, I can't think of who else would have a chance of making horrible things happen at Hogwarts."

"She's right," Harry agreed, "I mean, there's Dumbledore, for one thing ‒ you know who Dumbledore is, don't you?"

Dobby nodded, his head bowed again with some great swell of emotion. "Albus Dumbledore is the greatest headmaster Hogwarts has ever had. Dobby knows it, sir. Dobby has heard Dumbledore's powers rival those of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named at the height of his strength. But, sir...there are powers Dumbledore doesn't ‒ powers no decent wizard..."

And before either of us could have stopped him, Dobby rushed off the bed again, grabbed the desk lamp, and started beating himself about the head with yelps of pain like a wounded jackal. We wouldn't be eating for all of August at this rate, I just knew it. I'd be a pile of bones before anyone came to get us for Hogwarts; if anyone came to get us for Hogwarts...

Silence fell downstairs again. Two seconds later, with my heart thudding so rapidly against my ribcage I thought it may crack, I heard Uncle Vernon calling up the stairs, "Dudley must have left his television on again, the little tyke!"

"Quick! In the closet!" Harry hissed at me, working hard to shove Dobby in. Dobby tried to fight back and continue to beat himself with the lamp that he had pulled from the outlet. I grabbed it from him harshly and shoved him through the door, slamming my back against it while Harry turned and threw himself onto the bed just as the door handle turned.

"What ‒ the ‒ devil ‒ are ‒ you ‒ doing?" Uncle Vernon got terribly close to my brother's face and I could have sworn I saw him spit on him. I cringed, before his face came to leer close to my own. I only hoped that Dobby wouldn't make a peep with my Uncle so close to his hiding place. "You've just ruined the punchline of my Japanese golfer joke. One more sound and you'll wish you'd never been born, both of you!"

He stomped flat-footed from the room. Harry and I waited a moment, listening to him go down the stairs, hit the squeaky stair at the bottom, and return to his boisterous and fake conversation before we swung the door open to let the captive out.

"You have big eyes, do you see it now?" I asked the elf. "We can't stay here."

"Don't you see what it's like?" Harry agreed. "See why we've got to go back to Hogwarts? It's the only place we've got, well, I think I've got friends."

"Friends who don't even write to Harry Potter?" said Dobby slyly, taking advantage of my brother's sudden sullen mood. I immediately narrowed my eyes.

"I expect they've just been-"

"What did you just say?" I interrupted, looking at the little elf with heavy accusation as I moved closer to him. "Say that again."

The elf said nothing, though he had the decency to look around for the lamp again and reach for it in my hands until I pulled it away from him as if I were holding a plaything away from a toddler.

"Wait a minute," said Harry, frowning. "How do you know my friends haven't been writing to me?"

Dobby shuffled his feet.

"What do you know, Dobby?"

"The Potters mustn't be angry with Dobby. Dobby did it for the best-"

"I don't believe it," I hissed, my eyes jetting to Harry. "That's the same look you have when you get caught doing something you knew was wrong at the beginning."

"Have you been stopping my letters?"

"Dobby has them here, for the both of you, sir," the elf admitted. He stepped nimbly out of Harry's reach as he pulled out a wad of envelopes. I was amazed, quite honestly. A part of me hadn't expected to get any envelopes at all...but I had some ‒ no, multiple. I could tell by the envelopes and the writing; I could see Daphne's script and, on the back, some had the Nott family seal, one even looked like it might be from Tracey Davis, one of my bunk mates. I could see Harry's letters mixed in there too, he had many more than I did. Multiple letters from Hermione's methodical penwork and Ron's messy scrawl...

Surprisingly, I was not the angry one. I was more in shock.

Harry, however, looked about ready to tear the room apart to get those letters.

Dobby seemed to sense that.

"Harry Potter mustn't be angry... Dobby hoped... if Harry Potter thought his friends had forgotten him... Harry Potter might not want to go back to school, sir."

My brother was lost to the idea of those letters. Anyone could have seen it. He made a grab for the letters but Dobby was small and quick, easily jumping out of his reach. I made a grab for them too. What would Daphne have written to me about ‒ I can't believe her mummy would have let her ‒ her mummy hated Halfbloods. What would Theodore have written? Probably recommending books and asking me what trouble I was into ‒ oh, if only he'd known all the stories I'd scared Dudley with! And Tracey? She was probably feeling a little left out, being a Halfblood too...maybe this would be how we connected, during our summers of Halfblooded-ness...

"The Potters will have them, you will, if you gives Dobby your words that you will not return to Hogwarts. Ah, missus, please! Sir, this is a danger you must not face! Missus, it's too much! Say you won't go back, sir!"

"No!" With both chorused angrily.

"Give me my friends' letters!" Harry hissed, finally having lost his patience for the little nuisance.

"Then Harry Potter leaves Dobby no choice," the elf said sadly. The elf looked at me, his big eyes wide. "It is for your own good."

Before either Harry or I could react, Dobby had moved to the bedroom door, pulled it open, and sprinted right down the stairs.

"We're dead," I gasped. "The Ministry will have our heads."

Harry was already scrambling over himself to go after him, but it took me a moment to react before I did the same. If we just tromped downstairs, we were sure to make a bigger scene. Maybe Dobby would avoid the Muggles...he had to know the laws. House-elves weren't to be seen either, he had to know the punishment if he knowingly moved in front of non-magic folk. We would only make it worse if we went in front of them. They were just letters...I'd hear from them in length a month from now after I went to King's Cross and lived with them for all but the summer again...

There had to be a better way of going about this than making it obvious there was a house-elf in their midst by chasing it around when we weren't even supposed to be here...

And then there was a crash.

I heard glass break; I heard resounding screams.

Oh no.

I'd thought too much and acted too little. I moved downstairs, knowing there was no way I could make the situation worse now.

Harry was covered head to toe in the pudding that Aunt Petunia had put her heart and soul into making. Uncle Vernon was talking away the incident, talking about how disturbed Harry was and how he was staying with them and being kept upstairs because meeting new people upsets him. Aunt Petunia was of course, threatening him, giving him a mop to clean up and coming up with a makeshift dessert, all while trying to keep the tears from her eyes. When her eyes fell on me, they immediately narrowed. No more tears or upset, just rage. Yes, she had always hated seeing me the most.

"You're not innocent in this either," she threatened, holding the spoons out at me like a weapon. "Help him clean and then get in your room. We will deal with you when Vernon has made his deal and we can start planning on being rid of you for good."

I did as she said. I wasn't really in the mood to go back to the room in case that little demon was back in there anyway. Besides, if she was really planning on being rid of us for good, that means we would be rid of them for good...I was willing to do any amount of cleaning and behaving to help that happen.

She was right after all, there was a chance Uncle Vernon could have made his deal...were it not for the barn owl that flew through the window between the end of ice cream and the passing of after-dessert mints. The letter was dropped directly on Mrs. Mason's head before the owl swooped out again. It was clearly a Ministry owl, you could tell by the way it flew and how formal it was, not stopping for payment, food, or rest. The woman's screams and flight from the house barely stopped me from listening to whatever it was her husband was saying about his wife, and asking about who I was, since I had not been introduced or explained, when I went to grab the letter.

"Read it!" Uncle Vernon hissed when the company had left. I didn't really want to. I flashed it to Harry, I had been right...it was a Ministry sealed letter. "Go on ‒ read it."

Harry took it from him, opening it with shaking hands.

Dear Mr. Potter,

We have received intelligence that a Hover Charm was used at your place of residence this evening at twelve minutes past nine in the residential kitchen.

As you know, underage wizards are not permitted to perform spells outside school, and further spellwork on your part may lead to expulsion from said school. (Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery, 1875, Paragraph C).

We would also ask you to remember that any magical activity that risks notice by members of the non magical community (Muggles) is a serious offense under section 13 of the International Confederation of Warlocks' Statute of Secrecy.

Enjoy your holidays!

Yours sincerely,

Mafalda Hopkirk

IMPROPER USE OF MAGIC OFFICE

Ministry of Magic

Harry looked up from the letter and gulped.

"You didn't tell us you weren't allowed to use magic outside school," Uncle Vernon looked like a lunatic who had just been told he was free. "Forgot to mention it? Slipped your mind, I daresay..."

"There are other forms of magic that don't require a wand," I pointed out. "And Harry didn't do it. It wasn't him, there was a visitor..."

"There was no visitor," Aunt Petunia hissed. "Was it you? It was, wasn't it...you two have always been in trouble together. That bond you two share...we were warned. I should never have listened."

"Well, I've got news for you two," Uncle Vernon looked like a wild animal, all his teeth bared. "I'm locking you up. You're never going back to that school ‒ never ‒ and if you try and magic yourself out...they'll expel you!"

"You can't just not let us go," I scoffed. "Someone will come and get us ‒ that visitor just told us he's been stopping our letters; our friends are going to be worried. They're going to come get us, magically, by the-"

"Enough!" Uncle Vernon roared. "I never have to hear that word again! Not from you."

The overbearing walrus grabbed me by the arm and forced me closer to him, while Dudley grabbed Harry in his meaty grip. Harry had no 'oogy boogies' to save him while he was hauled upstairs by our cousin and I had no sassy comments during my shorter trek while I was overcome with dread. He was pulling me farther into the kitchen...toward the sink.

"No!" I shouted. "I'm not going in there!"

"You'll fit," he said. "Why don't you make some friends with the spiders, hm? They're the only ones who can stand you."

It didn't take much to shove me in there. I was nearly paralyzed with fear and as cramped as I felt in the space, I did fit under there with the familiar smell of bleach, cleaning supplies, and wet wood.

The smell filled my senses like a palpable panic. The more of it I breathed, the less air I felt I had. The more I couldn't breathe, the more my chest tried to expand and give me the option, which reminded me how little room there was under this bloody sink... I could die down here. There wasn't enough room for a twelve-year-old, even one my size.

Outside, Uncle Vernon was laughing like a maniac having locked both Harry and I away from each other so we could not plot against him. I could hear him coming up with his own plans, his own vision of how he could make our lives further hell ‒ I wouldn't live long enough for him to do it if he kept me not able to breathe.

"LET ME OUT!" I screamed. I regretted having to use so much of my stored and limited air to make my point, but slamming my forearm against the door they had somehow reinforced was doing very little. "YOU CAN'T JUST LOCK ME IN HERE!"

"It's not like anyone will know," Dudley's snicker came from somewhere close. "Who will you write? No one cares to write you."

I knew that wasn't true now and I would get him back for that, even if they locked me up until the day of my seventeenth birthday. It still made me feel extra helpless; they'd never let Circe or Hedwig out now...they'd never let them send out a sign that we were in trouble. And my friends would never come into a muggle world to look for me. What if I really was stuck in here? They'd left me in here for two days before...

"LET ME OUT OR I WILL MAGIC MYSELF OUT. SELF DEFENSE DOESN'T COUNT IN PERILOUS SITUATIONS-"

"You're not perilous," Uncle Vernon hissed. "You got caught under the sink, all of us saw it, didn't we, Petunia?"

I heard her hum in affirmation,

"LET ME OUT!" I screamed. "LET ME OUT!"

They laughed. All three Dursleys laughed at me as I slammed my forearm against the door and tried to put my shoulder into the action. It hurt and I was getting light headed from whatever fumes and chemicals were in there with me, and bent up against my back. The laughing made it so much worse ‒ they thought they were better than me. They thought they had won just because I couldn't do magic outside the house and because they could fit little, malnourished Audrey under the sink with a lock.

Oh har, har, look how funny she is, mummy.

Look how funny it is, abusing the foster children, Petunia.

Look how funny it is to watch them hurt themselves to escape, Vernon.

I screamed in fury. It was like the anger burst out of me and for some reason, everything around me seemed to burst at the same time. Above me the water seemed to pop and splash, spraying all over the kitchen and dripping down on me in my spiderweb-laced prison.

Aunt Petunia joined my scream with her own, "not again, you stupid girl!"

"They'll have your head for this at your school now!"

I hadn't done this since I'd been accepted into Hogwarts, blowing up the pipes. They hadn't mentioned it to me beforehand...I was hoping it wouldn't be an immediate-expulsion-worthy event as Harry's fake-offence had not been.

"I said," I growled back to them with emphasis. I was trying hard to pretend as if that was something I had done on purpose, instead of in a moment of fear and anger. "Letme out."

It took a moment before I heard someone sputtering to get around the water to unlock the sink cupboard, however they had managed to lock it after pushing me in. I glared back at the small containment center and watched as the water splashed all over the kitchen. I couldn't help but hope it destroyed everything.

"Well," Aunt Petunia's voice was overwhelmed and frustrated. "Fix it!"

"Sorry," I gave her a glare. "No magic outside of school."

Uncle Vernon wagged his finger in my face. "You will fix this."

"Better call the plumber," I told him, standing up to him with a stern look. "Will you be locking the door to the bedroom behind me, then?"


Uncle Vernon was not bark without bite. After locking me away in the bedroom with my brother, he got to business. The next day was spent putting bars on the windows with cat flaps for food ‒ padlocks on the door meant no way in or out unless for scheduled bathroom breaks, which became considerably difficult. The animals were cooped up, as I had predicted. Poor Circe looked like she wanted to eat Hedwig for dinner, so I started feeding her some of my shares though the little food I was given barely fed me, nevertheless her.

"This is child-abuse!" I yelled through the door, one of the times Aunt Petunia had brought us stone cold soup around three days in. She was the most easily spooked of the three, so it was most fun to bother her. "One day, I'll scream so loudly, the neighbours will have to call. And then the police will arrest you and I'll be free to torture you as soon as you're in prison and I'm free with my wand, and my whole life will be about how to make your life in prison even worse."

She said not a word, but was sure to close the flap without waiting for the dishes.

"Oh good," I sighed, grabbing the ceramic and hiding it in my closet-bed. Harry looked at me with a furrowed brow after he had given Hedwig some of the soggy vegetables from the soup.

"What are you doing?"

"Not giving it back. The ceramic is a weapon and a tool," I told him factually. "I'm either digging my way out, or fighting my way out. I'll need it eventually."

"Not your worst idea," he mumbled. "Are you okay...you still seem a little…"

"A little like I was shoved into a small, dark space where I burst the pipes and could have drowned myself again?" I asked, scraping the ceramic against itself to see how sharp it was. He looked at me to distinguish how dark my tone was and could see that I was, in fact, not okay. "I feel great."

"If you ever want to talk…" But we both knew I wouldn't. After waiting a few minutes, just in case, Harry flopped onto the bed and slowly drifted off to his own thoughts, before sleep. I wasn't so lucky. My stomach felt so hollow that I couldn't get comfortable, and my head was whirling with ways of escaping this new kind of prison.

It was hard to understand how things had gone from bad to so much worse. One day it was normal and the next some house-elf had decided to show up, warn us about something or other, and decided to ruin our lives a little bit more than they had been the year before. He hadn't even made sense. It was like he was warning Harry, ignoring me full-out, but then every now and then he'd look at me as if I needed to really listen to him, like I was not paying attention enough.

Then again...maybe I hadn't been, I had been pretty annoyed.

And I'm kind of annoyed that with all of that, knowing that now that I wouldn't get to go to Hogwarts, the little brat hadn't left us our letters. He should have at least had the decency to have done that. I'm going to have a field day searching up whose house-elf he is after all this...I'm going to go on a house-elf hunt if I ever get back to the wizarding world now.

The night had gone inky past our iron cage and Harry was starting to stir in his sleep with some more of his bad dreams. He almost had as many as me now, after the whole Dobby fiasco. He made a strange sound, like some sort of rumbly snore that was a high and resonating whine...no. No, that wasn't my brother.

Somewhere in the distance I heard a strange chugging sound. It was mechanical but somehow wheezy, like some sort of distressed and sickened machine. It grew louder.

I got up from my seat in the closet, craning my neck to look out the window to see a strange light wash over the houses of Privet drive...but it didn't look right. No, that light shouldn't have been angled like that ‒ up the roofs of the houses unless it was some sort of helicopter. Even then a helicopter never would have made that kind rattling of sound and it never would have let off that kind of double scattered light.

Oh my Merlin.

With a sudden jolt at the window, I fell right back on my arse.

"Hi, Drea!"

"What the hell are you doing in a flying car?" I asked in a rush. Three boys with flaming red hair, freckles, and bright smiles all tried to push their faces into the moonlight from different places inside the flying car so I could make out who was in front of me.

Fred, George, and Ron Weasley had come to our rescue.

"Hey, Harry!" Ron shouted. "Harry, wake up! Harry, look! Harry, Harry!"

"Stop it," Harry muttered, dragging his hand over his face. "Leave me alone...cut it out, I'm trying to sleep, Audrey..."

"Wake up, you dolt..." I hit him in the leg, making him open his eyes sharply. The moonlight broke up his face thanks to the bars on the window, and it took him an understandably long moment for him to understand what he was seeing through our prison bars.

"Ron," Harry breathed. "Ron! How did you ‒ what the-"

He moved to the bars so he could talk more quietly, leaving me to get up off my arse on my own. I took my time and rubbed my bum, looking at the old and rattling car ‒ it wasn't a nice one, it must have been enchanted somehow, and since the twins were only two years older than us, I suspected it was stolen.

"All right, Harry?" George asked.

"All right, Drea?" Fred asked in return.

"No," we said in unison.

"What's been going on?" Ron asked. "Why haven't you been answering my letters? I've asked you to stay about twelve times, and then Dad came home and said you'd got an official warning for using magic in front of Muggles-"

"It wasn't me ‒ and how did he know?"

"He works for the Ministry," Ron explained.

"Wait," I furrowed my brow. "He didn't say anything about me?"

"No," Ron made a face. "Should he have? Were you the one that did it?"

"I…" I could have thrown myself under the bus here, but I decided to play it safe. "No, it's just surprising they knew Harry was in that room and not me."

Ron shrugged. "You know we're not supposed to do spells outside school."

"You should talk," Harry indicated to the floating car, giving me a dissatisfied look that I hadn't owned up to my part in bursting the pipes. But why get both of us expelled if I didn't need to? I could be a good teacher to him if it came to it.

"Oh, this doesn't count," Ron explained.

"Stolen?" I asked, nodding over to the twins.

"We're only borrowing this," Ron corrected me. "It's Dad's, we didn't enchant it, but doing magic in front of those Muggles you live with-"

"I told you, I didn't ‒ but it'll take too long to explain now-"

I looked over to Fred and George again. "House-elf decided he didn't want Harry to go to Hogwarts. Tried to frame him; apparently did a good job. Not too long to a story. Crazy, though."

"No kidding?"

"I know. I should have let him stay hurt," I frowned, a little bummed that I had helped that little rat instead of knowing he was going to end up messing us about. George rolled his eyes.

"Look," Harry explained, beginning to talk over me. "Can you tell them at Hogwarts that the Dursleys have locked us up and won't let us come back, and obviously we can't magic ourselves out, because the Ministry'll think that's the second spell I've done in three days, so-"

"Stop gibbering," said Ron. "We've come to take you home with us."

I raised my eyebrows. "Both of us?"

Fred and George smiled. I turned to Ron. "But I'm a Slytherin. You hate me."

"And you can't magic us out either," Harry finished, as if he was bursting Ron's bubble.

"We don't need to," said Ron, motioning over to his brothers. "You forget who I've got with me."

I smiled. There was not one moment that I had forgotten who was with him. If the Weasley twins were together, there was nothing they couldn't do. I was more surprised that Ron was willing to bring me along, considering last year he and I were not really nice to one another.

"Tie that around the bars," said Fred, throwing the end of a rope to me. I did as he instructed, tying the knot as tightly as I was able.

"If the Dursleys wake up, we're dead," Harry said while Fred ignored him to rev up the car.

"Don't worry," said Fred with a casual wave over his shoulder, "and stand back."

I immediately moved back and took Hedwig and Circe with me. Harry followed suit, taking a moment to look down at his owl...probably amazed that she was keeping quiet (as was I). The car revved louder and louder before there was a loud crunching noise. The bars pulled off the window with one more clean, crunching sound as Fred drove straight up into the air. The bars dangled a few feet above the ground and Ron panted as he hoisted the bars up into the car with them ‒ I was impressed, those things were heavier than they looked. I listened as closely as I could at the door, but Uncle Vernon's snores did not change rhythm.

Fred reversed closely to me.

"Get in, you two."

"But all my Hogwarts stuff ‒ my wand, broomstick-"

"My trunk," I agreed, pointing my finger over my shoulder.

"Where is it?" Ron asked, following where I was pointing but not seeing anything behind us.

"Locked in the cupboard under the stairs," Ron's face fell. "And I can't get out of this room..."

"No problem," George and I said in unison. I looked at him easily, "I have a broken ceramic dish to cut the door open."

"I have a hairpin," he finished.

"Your move, then," I opened my arms to allow him access to my bedroom. He jumped in cat-like to move to the door but before he got there he turned around and said, "look Fred, I'm in Audrey's room!"

"Shut it!" Fred hissed, parking the car again so that it stuttered in mid air but held steady as he got out to join his brother. He took a moment to also appreciate that he was in my room, looking around and giving a nice whistle. I rolled my eyes while he joined George to get back to work using an ordinary hairpin from his pocket to pick the lock. "A lot of wizards think it's a waste of time, knowing this sort of Muggle trick, but we feel they're skills worth learning, even if they're a bit slow."

There was a small click and the door swung open for him. I felt my heart swell.

"Have I ever told you I love you?"

"Don't say it too loudly, Fred might combust."

"I won't tell if you don't," I whispered, he chuckled under his breath.

"So ‒ we'll get your trunks ‒ you grab anything you need from your room and hand it out to Ron," George whispered to us.

"The bottom stair creaks," I warned them. "There's a metal nut ‒ not money, but the companion to a bolt ‒ on the upper part of the cupboard door. The nut will drop on the tile and make a clatter...you can grab it before it falls to keep it quiet."

"That's surprisingly quick of them."

"That was me," I smiled. "I wanted to know how often they opened that door."

"Right," Fred winked. "Always the clever one."

Harry and I moved around the room quickly, shoving things into Ron's arms in a way that could not be considered neat, tidy, or packing. When we were sure we had gotten everything that we wanted out of that room, we went to help Fred and George with the trunks. They were so heavy it was hard to imagine them being quiet to move, even with magic. On our way back up the stairs Uncle Vernon began to cough.

"He's not in deep sleep," I whispered to Harry. "He's going to wake up."

"We'll be fine, just hurry!"

We were panting as we reached the landing, Fred helping me lift my trunk and George with Harry's. We each tried to push them through quietly as could be...

Uncle Vernon coughed again.

"A bit more, one good push..." Fred panted as we pushed Harry's trunk through.

"He's waking up," I whispered to Harry.

"It's fine, we're doing great." With that one good push it went into the trunk. The car spun around and revealed the back seat for my own trunk. "Let's go quickly."

"Come on, Drea ‒ okay, keep shoving..." just because there was a bridge between my outstretched, pushing body, the trunk and the car, Circe decided to dance up it, on the trunk and all the way to the safety of the front seat where Fred drove. For some reason Hedwig didn't like that. She let out a loud screech from behind Harry, possibly thinking she was being left behind. Uncle Vernon's thunderous voice followed.

"THAT RUDDY OWL!"

"I've forgotten Hedwig!"

"Get my trunk in!" I let go of the trunk, hearing the boys let out cries of shock as it threw the car off-kilter. I grabbed Hedwig from near the closet where she had been left and threw over the deadbolt on our door to buy us a few more seconds. I heard the heavy thud of my trunk falling the few inches into the seat of the car while I did it.

Uncle Vernon hammered on the door as soon as I had locked it.

"PETUNIA, THE KEYS!" He screamed. I heard the jumbling of the metal immediately after ‒ he must have left them on his nightstand to keep them close.

I rushed over to the window, pushing Hedwig into Harry's hands as I climbed into the car. I took the owl from him so that he could climb in after me, urging him on and not daring to look through the window past him until I saw the whole house shake. I couldn't tell if Uncle Vernon had waited for the keys or not, but the door was now open and he was frozen in shock at the doorway.

For a second his great form stood framed there before he let out an angry yowl and dived at Harry to grab him by the ankle. Ron, Fred, George and I seized Harry's arms to pull him as hard as we could to bring him into the car with us.

"Petunia!" Uncle Vernon roared. "He's getting away! They're both getting away!"

But in a synchronized motion we all slid out of Uncle Vernon's grasp to drag Harry into the car and Uncle Vernon, trying to reach forward again had accidentally slammed the car door shut.

"Put your foot down, Fred!" Ron screamed, while the car seemed to react by flying toward the moon.

"See you next summer!" Harry screamed back at Uncle Vernon, who screamed through the window at us, as if he were screaming at the moon.

"Told you so!" I screamed back, though quite honestly, it may have been lost to his own were-like tendencies. I took a moment to take a deep breath and release as much of the stress of the week as I could, tried to make sure that this air smelt better than the air from just days ago when I had been locked under that sink...

I climbed over the bench seat to sit in the front with the two elder Weasley brothers and leaned my head on the driver's shoulder.

"Have I ever mentioned I love you?" I asked to Fred.

"Once or twice," he smiled.

I smiled back, leaning in and kissing his cheek. "Thanks for saving the day."

"Ewwww," The boys in the back chorused.

"Not fair! I want one," George whined. I rolled my eyes and snorted lowly.

"Gryffindors."


Based off of my story Green Eyed Monster.

I am so unbelievably sorry for the long hiatus in writing. I will not give reasons, but I will continue to promise not to give up on this story.

I do not own the Harry Potter Universe or it's characters. I do own Audrey Potter, her vivid potion-making skills, and her wicked nicknames. Thanks go out to my wonderful reviewers: Takara Matsudaira, xXMizz Alec VolturiXx, HopefulSlytherinDemigod, Asia, Knightshade1373, Guest, Geri, TwoShadows, samigigglebox, silencia20, UzumakiNarutoLover, AMalfoyFanGirl, Guest (2), bRUH, Kelp-it-up, OnMyOwnJay, Yunrii, leafery, Blackhooded001, Guest (3), rude-prude, AlitaMae, romance is my thing, ThatOneAnon, Guest (4), and Guest (5).

I hoped you like the flashbacks!

Egypt