- Half Hidden By Dark Light -

- AlwaysPadfoot –


Disclaimer: Anything you recognise is not mine :(

Competition: The MultiChapter Competition AND The School Subjects Competition (Transfiguration)

Prompts: Two of the elements: two of the words 'water', 'fire', 'wind' or 'earth' must appear at least once in any time in your next chapter. You can choose which two you want to use, but you cannot use more than those two; only two of the words must appear.

Word Limit: Minimum 500 words

Word Count: 4651

Beta: earlyable

AN: ENJOY! Please R&R :)


Chapter Two – Blowing Up Evidence and Everyone's Favourite Bus

I don't know how I got through the next three days but I guessed tuning out whenever Marge spoke to or about me worked pretty well except for when she suggested that I was a thief - her new favourite insult - or that I was retarded in some way, I believe she worded it as mentally subnormal. I stopped tuning out after that.

But finally after the longest week I'd ever to spend at the Dursley's home it reached the final night of Aunt Marge's stay.

Aunt Petunia cooked a fancy dinner, which I had to serve, and Uncle Vernon uncorked several bottles of wine. We got all the way through the soup and the salmon without a single mention of me at all; during the lemon meringue pie, Uncle Vernon bored us a with a long talk about Grunnings, his drill-making company; then Aunt Petunia made me make coffee and Uncle Vernon brought out a bottle of brandy.

"Can I tempt you, Marge?"

Aunt Marge had already had quite a lot of wine. Her huge face was very red; she should stick to water.

"Just a small one, then," she chuckled.

"A bit more than that… and a bit more… that's the ticket." That was definitely not a small one. Dudley was eating his fourth slice of pie, I didn't dare take any more food, Petunia, who was sipping coffee with her little finger sticking out, would go mental. I desperately wanted to leave and go to my bedroom but when I met Petunia's angry little eyes I knew I'd have to sit it out for a little bit longer.

"Aah," said Aunt Marge, smacking her lips and putting the empty brandy glass back down. "Excellent nosh, Petunia. It's normally just a fry-up for me of an evening, with twelve dogs to look after…" She burped richly and patted her great tweed stomach. Oh my god, I needed to go and throw up she's disgusting. "Pardon me. But I do like to see a healthy-sized boy," she went on, winking at Dudley. "You'll be a proper-sized man, Dudders, like your father. Yes, I'll have a spot more brandy, Vernon…"

A proper-sized man? Uncle Vernon's the size of three proper-sized men.

"Now, this one here —" She jerked her head at me and I felt my stomach clench. Think about something else.

"This one's got a mean, runty look about her. You get that with dogs. I had Colonel Fubster drown one last year. Ratty little thing it was. Weak. Underbred."

She just insinuated I should be drowned; I gripped the underside of the table and tried to think about the History of Magic homework I had yet to do.

"It all comes down to blood, as I was saying the other day. Bad blood will out. Now, I'm saying nothing against your family, Petunia" — she patted Aunt Petunia's bony hand with her shovel-like one "but your sister was a bad egg. They turn up in the best families. Then she ran off with a wastrel and here's the result right in front of us."

I stared at my plate my ears ringing. The goblin revolutions of the 1600s were led by, I thought, but failing miserably to remember which Goblin led them. Aunt Marge's voice was succeeding in irritating me not unlike the lunch where she called my mother a bitch.

"This Potter," said Aunt Marge loudly, seizing the brandy bottle and splashing more into her glass and over the tablecloth, "you never told me what he did?" Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia were looking extremely tense. Dudley had even looked up from his pie to gape at his parents.

"He — didn't work," said Uncle Vernon, with half a glance at me. "Unemployed."

"As I expected!" said Aunt Marge, taking a huge swig of brandy and wiping her chin on her sleeve. "A no-account, good-for-nothing, lazy scrounger who —"

"No he was not," I hissed at her, "My father was a great man!" The table fell into a dead silence as I glared at Marge, my whole body shaking.

"MORE BRANDY!" yelled Uncle Vernon, who had gone very white. He emptied the bottle into Aunt Marge's glass.

"You, girl," he snarled at me but Petunia cut across him.

"Ivy, go to bed, go on —" she began but she too was interrupted.

"No, Petunia," hiccupped Aunt Marge, holding up a hand, her tiny bloodshot eyes fixed on mine. "Go on, girl, go on. Proud of your parents, are you? They go and get themselves killed in a car crash (drunk, I expect) —"

"They didn't die in a car crash!" I screamed, slamming my hands on the table and finding myself on my feet.

"They died in a car crash, you nasty little liar, and left you to be a burden on their decent, hardworking relatives!" screamed Aunt Marge, swelling with fury. "You are an insolent, ungrateful little —"

I was so angry but luckily Aunt Marge suddenly stopped speaking. For a moment, it looked as though words had failed her. She seemed to be swelling with inexpressible anger — but it didn't stop.

Her round red face started to expand, her tiny eyes bulged, and her mouth stretched too tightly for speech — next second, several buttons had just burst from her tweed jacket and pinged off the walls — one of which zoomed across the table and hit Dudley directly in the centre of the head. Marge was inflating like a monstrous balloon, her stomach bursting free of her tweed waistband, each of her fingers blowing up like a salami.

"MARGE!" yelled Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia together as Aunt Marge's whole body began to rise off her chair toward the ceiling. She was entirely round, now, like a giant beach ball with piggy eyes, her hands and feet stuck out weirdly as she drifted up into the air, making weird popping noises. Ripper came skidding into the room, barking madly.

"NOOOOOOO!"

Uncle Vernon seized one of Marge's feet and tried to pull her down again, but was almost lifted from the floor himself. A second later, Ripper leapt forward and sank his teeth into Uncle Vernon's leg. Maybe I liked that dog just a little bit more. Marge was bouncing along the ceiling towards the open conservatory doors, oh.

Like hell I was staying here now.

I tore out of the room and to the cupboard under the stairs, which slammed open, breaking the lock, as I approached it. In a matter of seconds, I had heaved my trunk to the front door, sprinted upstairs and threw all my birthday cards and presents and everything else into a makeshift bag i.e. a pillow case and dashed back downstairs to my trunk, ready to leave.
I wrenched the front door open just as Uncle Vernon burst out of the dining room, his trouser leg in bloody tatters. I don't think I'd ever seen him so mad; it was usually Petunia who shouted at me.

"COME BACK IN HERE!" he bellowed. "GET HER BACK AND PUT HER RIGHT!"

I pulled out my wand and pointed it directly between his eyes so he stopped from lunging at me.

"DON'T TOUCH ME, DON'T YOU DARE! SHE DESERVED WHAT SHE GOT!" I screamed as loud as I could, maybe the neighbours would hear. Without another word I span around and pulled my stuff out of the door and disappeared.

Within twenty minutes of the incident I had collapsed half-way up Magnolia Crescent against a wall several streets away from Privet Drive trying not to cry.

Five minutes ago I'd seen Marge float by high in the air and I'd smiled briefly but now I was irritated and cold. Not to mention scared. After the anger had died down, I realised I was all alone in the dark with absolutely nowhere to go and the worst of it was, I had just done serious magic, which meant that I probably had been expelled from Hogwarts. I had broken the Decree for the Restriction of Underage Wizardry so badly that I was surprised Ministry of Magic representatives weren't swooping down on me where I stood.

What was going to happen to me? Would I be arrested? No surely not, this was all a misunderstanding, just an accident. My head was whirling around so badly that I could barely think straight.

Right so I didn't any Muggle money, one of Marge's twenty pound notes would be good right now. There was a little wizard gold in the money bag at the bottom of my trunk, but the rest of my money that my parents had left me was stored in a vault at Gringotts Wizarding Bank in London. I'd never be able to drag his trunk all the way to London. Unless…

No, that was the stupidest train of thought I'd ever had, I was going to go to Neville's, not that I could walk there, I'd just take the Knight Bus. I was glad that my brain was slowly starting to work again. My wand was still clutched in my hand but as my mind was running through the appropriate way to call the Knight Bus I felt the sudden sensation that I was being watched. I shivered and looked up and down Magnolia Crescent but nobody was there. I bent over my trunk to find my money but almost immediately I stood up once more, my hand clenched around my wand. I sensed that someone or something was standing in the narrow gap between the garage and the fence behind me. I squinted down black alleyway. If only it would move, then I'd know whether it was just a stray cat or — something else.

"Lumos," I muttered, a light appeared at the end of my wand instantly lighting up the alleyway and there, between the wall and the garage, was the silhouette of something huge with wide gleaming eyes. In panic I stepped backwards falling over my trunk and landing on my butt on the pavement.

There was a deafening BANG, and I threw up my hands to shield my eyes against a sudden blinding light and a second later, a gigantic pair of wheels and headlights screeched to a halt right in front of me. I'd just called the Knight Bus accidently, what a stroke of luck.

The triple-decker, violently purple bus had appeared out of thin air. Gold lettering over the windshield spelled The Knight Bus. The conductor Stan jumped off the bus and onto the pavement next to me.

"Welcome to the Knight Bus, emergency transport for the stranded witch or wizard just stick out your wand hand, step on board, and we can take you anywhere you want to go. My name is Stan Shunpike, and I will be your conductor this eve—"

The conductor stopped abruptly. He had just caught sight of me, still sitting on the ground. I snatched up my wand again and scrambled to my feet. Stan Shunpike was only a few years older than me, eighteen or nineteen at most, with large, protruding ears and quite a few pimples. He'd been in seventh year when I was in first year.

"Ivy Potter, what were you doin' down there?" said Stan, dropping his professional manner when he spotted me.

"Fell over," I responded sulkily.

"'Choo fall over for? sniggered Stan.

I rolled my eyes and scowled at him, "I didn't do it on purpose," I said annoyed.

One of the knees in my jeans was torn, and the hand I had thrown out to break my fall was bleeding. I suddenly remembered why I had fallen over and I turned around quickly to stare at the alleyway between the garage and fence. The Knight Bus's headlamps were flooding it with light, and it was empty.

"'Choo lookin' at? said Stan.

"Nothing," I answered, "C'mon, help me get this trunk on board." I tried to forget about the big black dog-like shape in the alleyway as Stan lugged my trunk on board and stowed under the back bed on the ground floor before accepting eleven sickles off me.

"Longbottom Manor please," I told Ern, the grey haired driver and he nodded furiously before I quickly sprinted and made it to the bed before Stan shouted down the bus.

"Take'er away, Ern," Stan called, sitting down in the armchair next to Ernie's.

There was another tremendous BANG, and I managed to not be thrown backward by the speed of the Knight Bus. I stared out of the dark window and where we were now bowling along a completely different street. Stan was watching me with curiosity.

"This is where we was before you flagged us down," he said. "Where are we, Ern? Somewhere in Wales?"

"Ar," said Ernie.

"What did'ya do this time?" Stan asked, casually leaning against a bed that was currently occupied by a snoring old wizard.

"Hey, it was more them," I snorted and Stan laughed, he'd heard me complain about my relatives far too many times. I used the Knight Bus to travel a lot particular during the summers, I used it to return from Diagon Alley before my first year and to the train station too.

I remember receiving my Hogwarts letter, Uncle Vernon had made me get the post and there on the doormat was a letter to me.

Miss Ivy Lilian Potter
The Cupboard Under The Stairs
Little Whinging
Surrey
London

I knew immediately that I shouldn't let my relatives see it, it just felt special and everything special I'd had the Dursley's had taken from me. I waited until I could read the letter alone later that night before rereading the letter half a dozen times before deciding to hide it in the pocket of my coat.

The following day the Dursley's offloaded me on Mrs Figg, an old lady whom had about forty cats and her house smelled of cabbage. I took the coat to walk over in and at some point, because I left it folded over the chair, my Hogwarts letter fell out. Next thing I knew, Mrs Figg was showing me how to Floo to Diagon Alley.

I came home with a Kneazle and a trunk full spellbooks and a magic wand. Aunt Petunia went ballistic, started screaming about I wouldn't go that freak school like her perfect sister had and I really lost it with her. I honestly couldn't believe all the things she was saying. I shouted back, telling her she had no right to keep me here and that I'd be going to Hogwarts whether she liked it or not.

I sat and stared out the window, anxiously waiting for my arrival at Longbottom Manor, wondering whether the Ministry would be waiting there for me or whether it would be a while before they tracked me down. Maybe they hadn't even caught the inflated Aunt Marge yet.

Stan had unfurled a copy of the Daily Prophet and was now reading with his tongue between his teeth. A large photograph of a sunken-faced man with long, matted hair blinked slowly at me from the front page. He looked strangely familiar.

"That man!" I said, forgetting my troubles for a moment. "He was on the Muggle news!" Stan turned to the front page and chuckled.

"Sirius Black," he said, nodding, "'Course 'e was on the Muggle news, Ivy. Where you been?" He gave a superior sort of chuckle at the blank look on my face, removed the front page, and handed it to me.

"You oughta read the papers more, Ivy."

"Oh yeah, 'cause I have the time," I retorted before I held the paper up to the candlelight and read:

BLACK STILL AT LARGE

Sirius Black, possibly the most infamous prisoner ever to be held in Azkaban fortress, is still eluding capture, the Ministry of Magic confirmed today.

"We are doing all we can to recapture Black," said the Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, this morning, "and we beg the magical community to remain calm."

Fudge has been criticized by some members of the International Federation of Warlocks for informing the Muggle Prime Minister of the crisis.

"Well, really, I had to, don't you know," commented an irritable Fudge. "Black is mad. He's a danger to anyone who crosses him, magic or Muggle. I have the Prime Minister's assurance that he will not breathe a word of Black's true identity to anyone. And let's face it — who'd believe him if he did?"

While Muggles have been told that Black is carrying a gun (a kind of metal wand that Muggles use to kill each other), the magical community lives in fear of a massacre like that of twelve years ago, when Black murdered thirteen people with a single curse.

I blinked thinking, thirteen people with just one curse? How on earth does one person to that? Sounds like an absolute nutter to me.I looked into the shadowed eyes of Sirius Black, the only part of the sunken face that seemed alive. I'd never met a vampire, but Black, with his waxy white skin, looked just like one.

"Scary-lookin' fing, inee? said Stan, who had been watching me read.

"He murdered thirteen people?" I asked, handing the page back to Stan, "with one curse?"

"Yep," said Ern, "in front of witnesses an' all. Broad daylight. Big trouble it caused, dinnit, Stan?" he added darkly.
Stan swivelled in his armchair, his hands on the back, the better to look at me.

"Black woz a big supporter of You-Know-'Oo," he said.

"What, Voldemort?" I asked, without thinking.

Even Stan's pimples went white and Ern jerked the steering wheel so hard that a whole farmhouse had to jump aside to avoid the bus. I totally forget about everyone's reactions to the name Voldemort.

"You outta your tree?" yelped Stan. "'Choo say 'is name for, Ivy?"

"It's only a name Stan," I said hastily, he glared at me. "Look I'm sorry, I forgot —"

"Forgot!" said Stan weakly. "Blimey, my 'eart's goin' that fast…"

"So Black was a supporter of You-Know-Who?" I prompted apologetically but with a roll of my eyes.

"Yeah, "said Stan, still rubbing his chest. "Yeah, that's right. Very close to You-Know-'Oo, they say… anyway, when little Ivy Potter, you, got the better of You-Know-'Oo , all 'is supporters was tracked down, wasn't they, Ern? Most of 'em knew it was all over, wiv You-Know-'Oo gone, and they came quiet. But not Sirius Black. I 'eard he thought 'e'd be second-in-command once You-Know-'Oo 'ad taken over.''

"Anyway, they cornered Black in the middle of a street full of Muggles an' Black took out 'is wand and 'e blasted 'alf the street apart, an' a wizard got it, an' so did a dozen Muggles what got in the way. 'Orrible, eh? An' you know what Black did then? "Stan continued in a dramatic whisper.

"What?" I asked.

"Laughed," said Stan. Jus' stood there an' laughed. An' when reinforcements from the Ministry of Magic got there, 'e went wiv 'em quiet as anyfink, still laughing 'is 'ead off. 'Cos 'e's mad, inee, Ern? Inee mad?"

"If he weren't when he went to Azkaban, he will be now," said Ern in his slow voice." I'd blow meself up before I set foot in that place. Serves him right, mind you… after what he did…"

"They 'ad a job coverin' it up, din' they, Ern?" Stan said. "'Ole street blown up an' all them Muggles dead. What was it they said 'ad 'appened, Ern?"

"Gas explosion," grunted Ernie.

"An' now 'e's out," said Stan, examining the newspaper picture of Black's gaunt face again. "Never been a breakout from Azkaban before, 'as there, Ern?"

"Beats me 'ow 'e did it. Frightenin', eh? Mind, I don't fancy 'is chances against them Azkaban guards, eh, Ern?"

Ernie suddenly shivered. "Talk about summat else, Stan, there's a good lad. Them Azkaban guards give me the collywobbles."

Stan put the paper away reluctantly, and I leaned against the window of the Knight Bus, feeling worse than ever. I couldn't help imagining what Stan might be telling his passengers in a few nights' time.

"'Ear about that Ivy Potter? Blew up 'er aunt! We 'ad 'er 'ere on the Knight Bus, di'n't we, Ern? She was tryin' to run for it…"

Me, Ivy Potter, had broken wizard law just like Sirius Black.

Was inflating Aunt Marge bad enough to land me in Azkaban?

I didn't know anything much about the wizard prison, though everyone I'd ever heard speak of it did so in the same fearful tone. Hagrid, the Hogwarts gamekeeper, had spent two months there only last year. I wouldn't soon forget the look of terror on Hagrid's face when he had been told where he was going, and Hagrid was one of the bravest people I knew. He'd have to be what with all the mad-ass creatures he kept.

The Knight Bus rolled through the darkness, scattering bushes and wheeliebins, telephone booths and trees, and I lay, restless and miserable, on the feather bed. One by one, wizards and witches in dressing gowns and slippers descended from the upper floors to leave the bus. They all looked very pleased to go.

Finally, I was the only passenger left.

"Right then, Ivy," said Stan, clapping his hands, "Longb'tom Manor 's next?"

"'Old tight, then." Ern said from the front.

BANG.

We were thundering along Neville's Road. I sat up and watched buildings and benches squeezing themselves out of the Knight Bus's way. The sky was getting a little lighter but it was still early in the morning, just before three to be exact. Ern slammed on the brakes and the Knight Bus skidded to a halt in front of the large iron gates of Longbottom Manor.

"Thanks, "I said to Ern as I jumped down the steps and helped Stan lower my trunk and onto the pavement outside.

"No problem Potter," Ern answered.

"'ave fun Ivy!"

And with a Bang, the night bus shot off round the corner and disappeared. I wasn't descended upon Aurors so that was a good sign. I dragged my trunk through the gates and down the path, I must have set of the ward alarms because Neville opened the door uncertainly.

"Ivy!?" Neville opened the door fully now, "What are you doing here?" I looked to him with a forced smile.

"You said I could come any time I wanted," I said, my voice cracked and I started to cry. So much for the brave face I planned on putting on.

When I woke up the next morning, I found myself in the guest bedroom that I always occupied when I stayed here. Toggle was curled up at my feet, obviously he got here safe and sound, which was good. He clearly sensed me sit up because as soon I did he leapt off the bed and stalked over to the sofa and pounced up onto the back of it. It was only then that I realised the Neville was on the sofa by the soft snoring coming from it. Toggle jumped down on top of Neville, who sat but abruptly, causing my Kneazle to hiss and streak under the bed. I rolled my eyes at his antics as my eyes fell to Neville, who was stretching and yawning.

"G'Morning Ivy," he mumbled mid-stretch, before rubbing his neck like he'd just had an uncomfortable night. I instantly felt guilty that he'd felt the need to sleep on the couch in here.

"Oh, Nev, you didn't have to stay in here," I replied.

"You were upset Ivy, I wasn't going to leave you alone, you're my friend." He smiled, looking at his watch. "We didn't sleep very long anyway, its only half eight." I didn't know what to say, I mean honestly, what would I do without my friends?

"Thanks Neville," I smiled. We planned to meet downstairs at nine and I was left alone in the guest room, well, except for Toggle. I leant down over the edge of the bed and peered underneath it. Toggle was grumpily staring back out at me, he was totally going to be in a bad mood now and probably hiss at Neville for at least two weeks.

"You jumped on him," I told him, "Now get out of there, he's gone." Toggle huffed and slipped out from under the bed before claiming a spot on a wayward pillow at the bottom of the bed.

Moody bugger.

I found everything so easy I mean I hadn't been here yet this summer so that was a miracle in itself. I showered, changed into old jeans and a Quidditch T-shirt and made my way down to Neville's kitchen.

Augusta Longbottom was sat at the end of the table with a Daily Prophet and a large cup of tea.

"Morning Mrs Longbottom," I smiled, trying to be polite even though I've just appeared at her house in the middle of the night.

"You've caused quite a flap overnight Miss Potter - the minister wanted to come you know," she said not looking up from her paper.

The minister? Of Magic?!

"I told him to forget it of course," Augusta continued, "He's not parading into this house, he wanted to send you somewhere safe," she snorted. What? I blew up my aunt!

"Have you ever been attacked in this house?" I wasn't really listening to Augusta and I knew better than to interrupt when she was like this, "I told him, I said Cornelius, Ivy Potter is staying here—"

Neville arrived at the exact moment in time, and Augusta was still talking. He took the seat next to mine and rolled his eyes at his Grandma, who consequently stopped and scowled at him. She was slightly creepy like that.

"Don't scowl at your Grandmother like that Neville," she warned, poking a finger at her Grandson.

"Sorry Gran," Neville replied as Quincey materialised in the Kitchen.

"Can Quincey get Miss Potter and Master Longbottom breakfast?" The little elf looked a lot different to Dobby, she was dark skinned and had huge brown eyes.

"Pancakes please Quincey," Neville answered politely.

"And you miss?" The little elf turned to me with a beaming smile. What the hell, pancakes sounded good.

"I'll have the same please Quincey," I smiled, the elf disappeared across the kitchen and I turned to Neville, "It looks like I won't be going to Azkaban after all."

Neville smiled, "You were never going to Azkaban Ivy, it was accidental magic, they don't put kids into Azkaban for accidental magic."

"They don't put kids in Azkaban full stop Neville Frank," Augusta interrupted, rising from her seat, "Try not to blow up the house while I'm out, Neville dear."

Neville blushed deeply as his Gran disapparated away and I eyed him suspiciously, "What does she mean?" He stayed quiet, shuffling his feet slightly in embarrassment.

"Nev?"

"Don't laugh okay?" I frowned at his comment before nodding in agreement, "I still can't control my magic, I do accidental magic still and on the odd occasion I can cause I lot of damage."

I blinked a few times, I still do a hell of a lot of accidental magic. There's nothing to be ashamed of.

"Nev, I still do accidental magic," I replied, "It's fine, your Gran is just being a Gran, they say things like that all the time."

He smiled and nodded but was still quite red in the cheeks. Luckily, Quincey appeared and Neville and I tucked into pancakes with chocolate syrup. The rest of breakfast was comfortably quiet except when either one of us suggested something that we might do today. We didn't come up with a lot really just that Neville and I were going to finish off our summer work in the garden to begin with and then just see what happened next.