Disclaimer: I don't own anything.
I'm not sure exactly how long this story will be, I've got it outlined to be around ten chapters but could be more, could be less. This is a bit different to what I normally do but I hope you enjoy it all the same! If you would be kind enough to leave a review I would be eternally grateful :-)
I knew that something was wrong. I woke up this morning, the first day of the school holidays, and just knew. Usually the first day of summer would be a happy, relaxed occasion with just the murmurs of my brother Hugo complaining that he was bored already. My parents would always book the first two weeks of summer off work to ensure they spent some time with us - but not today. Today, they left before the sun had even risen and the house was deadly silent until lunchtime. Hugo told me that he'd been kept awake until the early hours by our parent's arguing, it was typical of me to have slept through that; everyone always joked that I'd sleep through the end of the world. I'd always been a heavy sleeper and on more than one occasion people had thought that I was actually dead and called for help to make sure that I was still alive when in fact I was just very, very asleep. He didn't know what exactly they'd been shouting about but he said it sounded pretty serious and even Uncle Harry and Teddy joined at around 2am. I'm no codebreaker but even I can establish that whatever was happening had to be pretty serious to warrant urgent conversations in the dead of night. Uncle Harry was the Head of the Auror office at the ministry - Teddy and my Dad worked under him so they often came over to talk about business but never at such ungodly hours and even more rarely did my Mum get involved in their work. Admittedly I was slightly worried, it was disconcerting to find your house abandoned by your parents, especially when you hadn't seen them since Easter and to be frank, I would kill for a portion of my Dad's scrambled egg on toast. Attending Hogwart's was brilliant but it often left you at a loss when having to do everyday tasks, namely cooking, because everything was done for you. Breakfast, lunch and tea would be on your table like clockwork at school. At home? Not so much. I'd managed to pull together regular toast and butter for Hugo and I, he grumbled about it being "boring" but it was the best he was going to get from me. A loud crack from the living room interrupted mine and Hugo's silent eating as Al, James, Lily and Aunt Ginny stepped through the open archway into the kitchen. It was common practice for various members of my large family to apparate and floo into my house at random times of the day.
"Rose, it's almost 1pm, why aren't you dressed yet?" Aunt Ginny scolded me. It was a personal goal of mine every holiday to spend as little time as possible in actual clothes. I never understood why the world didn't just wear pyjamas all the time, they were much comfier and if everyone did it then there would never be a problem.
"Hi Aunt Ginny!" I ignored her comment and moved to squeeze her gently around the waist softening her face into a small smile but her eyes weren't smiling; something was definitely wrong. There was a cold, concerned glimmer in them as she looked between Hugo and I.
"Where's my hug?" James was as jolly as ever – whatever it was that was bothering Aunt Ginny she hadn't yet told her children. "It's been a whole 24 hours since you've seen me, surely you're having withdrawal symptoms."
"Shut up." I teased punching him lightly in the stomach as an alternative to a hug.
Maybe Aunt Ginny had wanted to tell us all together what was happening to make it easier or maybe I was reading too much into every tiny detail and there was actually nothing wrong. I liked that option more.
"Sit down you lot, there's something I need to tell you all and this isn't easy." Unfortunately I was wrong. We all scattered among the sofas in my living room, I took a seat next to Al feeling most comfortable next to my best friend if whatever we were about to be told was as bad as I feared it would be.
"Mum? What's going on?" said Lily, the youngest of the Potter children. "Is Dad okay? Where is he?"
"He's fine Lils." Aunt Ginny reassured. "I don't want you all the worry but there's a crisis at the Ministry. That's where your Dad is, Ron and Hermione too."
"Why's my Mum there?" Hugo asked, his hand tugging through his hair – a nervous tick he had. "She doesn't work in the Ministry."
Aunt Ginny took a deep breath. "She's helping the Auror office and the Minister in their investigations. There's word of an...uprising."
"What the bloody hell is an 'uprising'?" James said, air quoting the word uprising, he never was the sharpest wand in the shop.
"A rebellion." I answered for him. An uprising? Of all the things I'd considered to be bothering my parent's this was not one of them. I knew how rebellions often ended – in violence and bloodshed. I'd read about these in the past of the Wizarding World, groups of wizards who had some sort of inflated ideas about how things should be run, how the Ministry are doing everything wrong, about blood status...in essence Voldemort was the leader of an uprising.
"That's right Rose." Aunt Ginny said quietly. "There's a group of dark wizards recruiting, we think they're the remnants of...Vol-voldemort's followers or descendants of Death Eaters. They have the same distorted views on the world, they want to restore the beliefs of blood status and muggle-borns. The threat is being taken seriously."
I felt a sickening pierce my entire body, this couldn't be happening, could it? Everybody thought that when Voldemort died so did his evil. A silence, once again, filled the house as we all ingested what we'd just been told. Al hadn't spoken since he arrived, perhaps he too sensed something to be wrong, a tear ran down Lily's face as she furiously wiped her arm against her cheek to disguise what had already fallen and James' face was stony and serious, he was first to speak.
"What does this mean?" it was a strange question to ask.
"It means that we've got to be prepared." his mother answered, moving to wrap herself around Lily who was now openly sobbing. "There's been some killings, of muggle-borns, half-bloods."
"They're after Dad, aren't they?" Al spoke for the first time. "It's obvious, he's Harry Potter, of course they want him dead."
But if they wanted Uncle Harry, would that mean they'd want...my parents?
"Probably." Aunt Ginny said gravely, provoking more sobs from Lily.
James stood up. "I'm going to find him. I want to help."
"They're due back here any minute, sit down." she ordered him in only a way a mother could...or maybe a wife.
About twenty minutes of awkward silences, questions and Lily's crying passed before my parents, Uncle Harry and Teddy apparated in front of us. I had never seen any of them look so serious – even happy-go-lucky Teddy looked like you'd just murdered his puppy. There was something about seeing your own parents so obviously distressed. Your parents are the people you turn to when there's nothing else you can do, the ones who can seemingly fix anything, your very own superheroes as a child. That's how I used to see my Dad. When I was five years old and I kept falling off my muggle bicycle (Mum had insisted that I learnt) he would pick me up off the floor, place me back on the saddle and stay with me until nightfall every day until I finally learnt to fly on my own.
"Dad! Mum!" I rushed to them both whilst Hugo stayed still, simply staring up at the new adults in the room, as did Al.
"Rosie" Dad hugged me tightly, whispering into my ear. "I'm so sorry Rosie."
What was he sorry for? It wasn't his fault that some sociopathic wizards had taken it upon themselves to carry on the legacy of the most evil wizard of all time.
"So you all know?" Uncle Harry stood in the middle of the somewhat circle, addressing us all. His face was concerned, a far cry from his usual self. We all nodded in answer to his question, Aunt Ginny filling him in on what she'd told us. "A meeting at the Ministry has decided that the best plan is to protect you all, you're all targets, you would make the perfect hostages whilst we deal with uprising. We can't do both at once to their full potential."
I didn't like where this was heading. Uncle Harry was muttering and whenever Uncle Harry muttered it meant he knew that whatever he had to say, we wouldn't like. Whenever we have to visit relatives we don't like, he mutters or when he has to tell Uncle Ron that the Chudley Cannons lost...again, he mutters.
"Are you trying to say that they want us?" James asked though we already knew the answer. Of course they did, we were the children of the Golden Trio, to the outside world at least.
"We think you're targets, yes." Uncle Harry muttered.
My Mum spoke now, moving next to Uncle Harry placing a comforting hand on his shoulder. "We've organised safe houses for you all until the situation is dealt with, you'll leave immediately. Lily, don't cry you'll be fine, it will be over before you know it."
I was paralysed. I couldn't move, talk or even think properly. How had my world changed so dramatically in such a small space of time?
"I'm 18, you can't make me, I want to stay with you. I want to help. I can fight." James protested, a look passing between the adults, I knew that it reminded them of his father. I'd heard the stories. "I'm not going anywhere."
"We hope it won't come to that but we can't force you to go." Uncle Harry answered calmly, he probably expected that exact reaction from his eldest son. "Lily, you're going to go and stay with Uncle Bill at Shell Cottage, ok?" She nodded, biting hard on her lip to stifle her cries. "Al, you're going to go and stay with Neville, you'll be safe there."
"Why can't we all go to the same place?" Lily sniffed. I knew why; because if one place was infiltrated then all of us would be caught (and possibly killed).
"It's safer this way." my Mum answered softly with a smile. "Rosie, I don't want to alarm you but you'll be going to stay with one of your Dad's colleagues and one of our oldest...acquaintances."
I don't want to alarm you...funnily enough, that sentence alone alarms me.
"You'll be staying at Malfoy Manor under the protection of Draco Malfoy." Uncle Harry said calmly, I, however was not calm. Malfoy?! As in the father and home of Scorpius Malfoy. As in the most self-obsessed, conceited and downright awful boy I'd ever come across. Admittedly, I'd never actually spoken to Malfoy but why would I when I know what he's like. Malfoy was in my year at Hogwarts (we were both entering our final year at the wizarding school at the end of summer), he was what you'd consider 'popular' and only had time for you if you were a Slytherin, a slut, or both; leaving me well out of Malfoy's demographic.
"But wasn't he, y'know, a Death Eater?" James whispered the last two words. During the second wizarding war it was common knowledge that Malfoy Manor was used to house Death Eaters and even Voldemort himself but after the war had ended the Malfoy family gave themselves up to the Ministry, Draco joined the Auror office and as far as I knew our parents now got on rather well.
"Past tense James." my Mum answered him. "Draco is an Auror and Malfoy Manor is one of the most well protected estates in the wizarding world. You'll be safe there Rosie."
"It's clever," I said "the Malfoy's house is the last place you'd look." My parents both smiled at me, a strange sort of smile. Comforting? Maybe. Apologetic? Possibly. It must be hard for them seeing this happen to their children, if they were just ordinary wizards they wouldn't have to see their sons and daughters hidden in safe houses just because of who they are. Would I have the same problem? If this were to happen to me when I had children would they have to be protected in the same way just because they were related to me...to my parents.
"Wh-when are we go-oing?" Lily hiccuped. I loved Lily as though she were my own little sister and it physically pained me having to see her so distressed, I felt like crying just because she was.
"As soon as Rose and Hugo pack. Your mother did yours this morning." Uncle Harry glanced, quickly at his wife, a small smile playing on his lips before returning to his stony expression. "I'll take Al, Ginny can go with Lily, Ron with Rose and Hermione you go with Hugo."
All of us dispersed quickly from the living room, I grabbed Al by the wrist pulling him upstairs with me whilst I packed. Al and I were best friends, we always had been, he was the person I trusted most in the world. We walked in silence until we reached my room.
"Al," I said quietly whilst systematically putting clothes into my trunk wondering how many I would need...how long I would be away for. "Are you scared?"
"Aren't you?" his head rose from staring at the ground. "I'm scared of...of not seeing everyone again."
"You're scared of dying?" I moved to sit next to him, placing my hand in his.
"I'm scared of other people dying Rosie," Al took a deep breath, clutching my hand tighter. "promise me you'll look after yourself. Don't do anything and I mean anything to put yourself in danger, okay? I couldn't survive this madhouse without you Rosie."
"I promise" I said not aware that a single tear had escaped.
"We've got to make a move." my Dad peered his head round my door, his face was flushed pink and his hair dishevelled. Al and I followed him downstairs a sombre mood lingering between us all. What if Al was right and this would be the last time some of us saw each other? I couldn't think like that or I'd send myself insane.
"Rosie, we'll go first sweetheart," I nodded before moving around each of them, hugging them tightly and telling them that I loved them. "Ready?"
"Ready." I confirmed.