Author's Note: Hello to anyone who may be reading this; I really appreciate it. I just wanted to take this author's note to explain briefly what is happening. Of course, I could have been creative and actually made it a part of the story, but I didn't. Why, you might ask? Because I didn't feel like it, and because I am the one writing it, I don't have to do anything that I don't want to. Okay? Okay. :D
I'm sure that everybody has already done the whole 'Harry-has-a-sister' thing, but guess what? I'm doing it again. Ha-ha. Suck it. Except in this story, she is separated from him until Harry's second year at Hogwarts. Annabelle (Harry's sister) is raised in France with another wizarding family, but when she finds out that she has a brother, she returns to England to help Dumbledore keep an eye on him. This story that I'm writing right here is only taking place in book two (Chamber of Secrets), so there will be several sequels.
I hope that everyone thoroughly enjoys reading this story (or series) and if anyone has any thoughts or ideas about my writing, whether good or bad, I would love to hear them. I just love having reviews and constructive criticism. Anyone who might have a flame for me, feel free, I'll read those as well, just to make you feel like you've achieved something with your day.
And as always, I do not own Harry Potter. If I did, I would not be sitting here on a dingy couch in my cousin's mini home writing fan fiction.
P.S! READ THIS! I edited this chapter and the rest as well, and have made some significant changes. Also, I have now finished this 'book' in the fanfiction series. I will be posting a new chapter each week, on Thursdays, just because that's my favourite day of the week. For all of those who have stuck with me this long, thank you so much; it really means the world to me. For those who are just joining, I hope you enjoy.
Annabelle Delacour stood with her sister as they waited in line at the fireplace in the Headmistress' Office. They, along with the rest of the students at Beauxbatons, were going home for the Summer Break, and Annabelle was very excited. It had been several months since she had seen her parents and younger sister, and she missed them terribly. She was especially close to her father.
"Are you ready, Belle?" Fleur asked, turning to look at her sister. "We're next."
"Very ready," Annabelle grinned. "I was ready months ago."
Fleur shook out her head of silvery blonde hair and rolled her eyes. "I don't know why you hate it here so much. I love being at school."
"I just miss Mother and Papa," she replied. "And little Gabrielle, too, of course."
"Fleur, Annabelle," called the deep voice of the Headmistress. "Are you ready to go?"
"Yes, of course, Madame Maxime," Fleur replied, shooting her winning smile at the woman.
Both girls stepped forward and took a pinch of Floo Powder from the offered bowl, and stood side-by-side in the fireplace, their full trunks standing on their ends in front of them. Annabelle and Fleur, at the same time, threw the powder to the ground and shouted, "Chateau de Delacour!"
Annabelle's stomach clenched as it was assaulted with the familiar nausea as the room spun out of sight. She closed her eyes to make sure she didn't get sick. She had been traveling by Floo Powder all of her life, but she had never gotten over the sensation of it. As the spinning began to slow, she took a deep breath and opened her eyes; she needed to be able to see which grate to get out of.
Annabelle saw the familiar kitchen of home, and stepped forward, holding her hands out in front of her; she wasn't the most graceful person in the world, and she knew that falling on her face was inevitable. As she landed on the floor, Fleur stepped lithely out of the grate beside her, laughing.
"You are the clumsiest person that I have ever met, Belle," she chuckled, holding a hand out to help her sister to her feet. "You must be adopted."
Annabelle laughed and climbed to her feet, dusting off her clothes. It was a running joke between the two girls for years, as they were nothing alike. Fleur was tall, willowy, blonde and beautiful, and Annabelle was not. She was of average height and weight, her hips a little too wide for her liking. She had ivory skin that refused to tan, and her hair was a deep, coppery auburn colour. While she was not ugly by any means, she looked nothing like either of her sisters. Fleur and Gabrielle both had deep blue eyes and delicate features, a straight nose and perfectly bow-shaped lips; Annabelle had shockingly green, almond-shaped eyes, a nose that was tilted slightly at the end, and her lips were a little too full for her face. Fleur was a perfect French lady, enjoying dancing, music and gossiping, and Annabelle much preferred to be outside.
She opened her mouth to reply, but the sound of quick steps coming down the hallway towards them stopped her. Both girls looked to the door as their mother entered the kitchen. They smiled brightly and hurried to hug her, but stopped when they realized that she was not smiling.
"Mama?" Fleur asked hesitantly. "What is the matter? Has something happened? Where is Papa?"
"Calm yourself, ma cherie," Madame Delacour said, her lips twitching into a small smile as he looked tenderly at her eldest daughter. "Your father is just fine."
"Then what is it?"
Madame Delacour reached out and took Fleur by the hand and drew her closer to her. She smiled at her, and brushed a strand of hair out of her face. "You have grown so much, ma chou. You are so beautiful. And you, ma bichette." She smiled gently at Annabelle, and opened her arms to pull the girl into her arms. "So beautiful." When she pulled away, Annabelle thought that she saw tears in her mother's eyes.
"Mama, what is it?" Annabelle asked quietly.
Madame Delacour composed herself quickly, and smiled stiffly at Annabelle. "There is someone here to see you, Annabelle."
"To see me?" she asked, confused. "Who is it?"
"Gabrielle is in the garden," their mother said quickly, turning to Fleur. "She is waiting very anxiously for you. Go and see to her, s'il vous plait."
Without a word, Fleur turned on her heel and hurried through the garden door, leaving Annabelle alone in the kitchen with their mother.
"Come along, Annabelle," Madame Delacour said, taking her daughter's hand firmly in her own. "Your visitor is a very busy man, we mustn't keep him waiting."
"Who is it, Mama?" Annabelle asked again as they made their way through the hallways of the chateau.
"A man from England," her mother replied stiffly. "He is waiting with your father in the library."
Rather than clarifying anything, her mother's answer only made Annabelle more confused. What would a man from England want with her?
She didn't have long to wonder. A moment later, the two women reached the top of the stairs and turned to face the great oak doors that led into the library. The doors were closed, but opened slowly as they were approached. Annabelle's heart was beating so hard that she thought it might come through her chest. She clutched her mother's hand more tightly; Madame Delacour gave a small squeeze back and led her daughter into the library.
Monsieur Delacour was seated at his desk, a deep frown etched into his face as he read a long piece of parchment for the third time. When the library doors groaned and opened, he lifted his gaze and tossed the letter to his desk. He rose and strode forward to meet his wife and daughter.
"Annabelle, my sweet!" he cried, hugging her tightly. He was a little man, barely taller than his daughter, but to Annabelle, he had always seemed like a giant. She hugged him tightly, knowing that he would keep her safe from anything. "You look beautiful, ma bichette. And so grown up." He pulled back and looked into her face, smiling gently at her. "You are well, Annabelle?"
"Oui," Annabelle replied. "Very well, Papa."
"Good." He sighed heavily and, taking Annabelle by her free hand and led her back to the desk. "Annabelle, this is Albus Dumbledore."
Their guest had remained sitting while the family had reunited, but was now standing in front of the desk, smiling down at her. Annabelle frowned and bit her lip; his face seemed familiar to her, but she could not remember ever have meeting him before.
He apparently knew who she was, however.
"Hello, Anna," he said, smiling cheerfully at her. "Or, perhaps, it is Annabelle, now?"
"Either is fine, monsieur," she replied, frowning deeper still. "I'm sorry, but have we met before?"
"Several times," he assured her cheerfully. "But you shall have my forgiveness if you don't remember me; it has been many years since we met, and you were quite young. In all honesty, I am quite surprised that you recognize me at all."
"Come and sit, Annabelle," Monsieur Delacour said, returning to his place behind the desk. "There is much that we need to discuss."
With a wave of his wand, two new chairs appeared to his left. He held out the chair next to him, and Annabelle slipped into it. Her mother quickly followed suit, and took Annabelle's hand into her lap, squeezing it tightly between her own two. Mr. Dumbledore returned to his own chair on the other side of the desk and made himself comfortable. Annabelle noticed that his cheerful smile had faded, and that he now looked rather grave.
"So what is it that you want?" Madame Delacour asked icily.
Mr. Dumbledore looked at her over the tops of his half-moon spectacles for a moment before answering. "I think you know exactly what it is that I want."
"Then you had best leave," was her sharp reply. "You cannot have her!"
Annabelle leaned back in her seat and watched her mother. She had never seen the older woman lose her composure before, but her mother's cheeks were flushed bright red and her eyes were glassed over. Her nails dug into Annabelle's hand as she held onto her daughter.
Mr. Dumbledore sighed heavily. "Madame, I fear you are wrong. I can, indeed. We have a contract, in case you have forgotten."
"I have forgotten nothing!" Madame Delacour snapped. "She is too young, so you cannot take her."
"I will not be taking her anywhere," Mr. Dumbledore said softly. "She will come of her own free will."
"Apolline," Monsieur Delacour said heavily. "He is right. It is time."
Madame Delacour turned to face her husband, her beautiful face twisted into a mask of horror. "You would have him take her? Your own daughter?"
"If she agrees, then yes," he replied, looking at Annabelle sadly. "We cannot stop it."
"She is too young!" Madame Delacour cried again, leaping gracefully from her chair. "She is only thirteen!"
"When the contract was written," Mr. Dumbledore said calmly, "I had intended to leave her be until she was done of school. But much has happened, and I have been forced to change my mind."
"What has happened?" Madame Delacour asked shrilly. "Tell me; what has happened that is so important that you had to come now."
"Here, mon amour," Monsieur Delacour said gently, holding out the parchment that he had been reading. "This explains everything."
Looking suspicious, Madame Delacour took the letter out of her husband's hand and began to skim it quickly, her lips moving quickly as she read the words to herself. Her eyes widened, and she held the parchment in both hands as she read more slowly. When she was done, she swallowed deeply, and looked up from the letter, her eyes moving between her husband and the other man, both of whom were watching her intently. She sank back down into her chair.
"He is back?" she whispered, her voice so low and hoarse that it was hardly heard. "He – he's returned?"
"Yes, and no," Mr. Dumbledore replied gently. "Not in his true form. He is still weak, and without a body. He must live off others to survive. But he has emerged, at long last."
"I had thought…had hoped that he was gone," she said softly.
"As we all had," Mr. Dumbledore agreed. "But this is why I have come now."
Madame Delacour had been sitting slumped in her chair, looking fearful and meek, but when Mr. Dumbledore spoke, her head shot up and her posture straightened and, once again, she was angry. Her eyes flashed dangerously.
"All of this has happened, and you think I will allow you to take my Annabelle into the middle of it all?" she snarled. "Are you mad?"
"Madame, I understand how upset you are," Mr. Dumbledore started, but he was quickly interrupted.
"No! No, you do not understand," Madame Delacour snapped. "How could you? You are not a mother."
"Polly," Monsieur said gently, reaching out to his wife and taking her hand across Annabelle's lap. "We have to at least give her the choice. We have to let her decide. That was the deal."
"She is thirteen!" Madame Delacour cried again, but this time with less fervour. She looked pleadingly at her husband. "Please…"
"She has to choose," he said firmly. They stared hard into each other's eyes for a moment, and finally Madame Delacour slumped, defeated.
"Lift the spell," she said dully. She pulled her hands from her husband's grasp and leaned back, slipping her arm around her daughter's shoulders instead.
"I thank you, Madame," Mr. Dumbledore said gently. Then he turned to Annabelle and smiled gently at her; it did nothing to ease her anxiety. "My dear child; I have no doubts that you are more confused than you have ever been. Am I right?"
Annabelle nodded slowly, and Mr. Dumbledore smiled again.
"I will be able to clear all that up in just a moment," he promised. "But first, I have a few questions. Firstly, how much do you know about your parents?"
Annabelle frowned and looked at her father curiously.
"No," Dumbledore amended. "I meant your real parents."
Annabelle's eyes widened in shock, and she leaned back in her chair. "What do you mean, monsieur?"
"She knows nothing," Monsieur Delacour said quickly. "We meant to tell her, but we just haven't found the right moment."
Annabelle pulled away from her mother's embrace and stood up so quickly that her chair fell to the floor. She looked between her parents, hurt beyond words. "I'm adopted?" She had meant for the words to be harsh and accusatory, but they came out in a strangled voice, and she felt the tears well up in her eyes, but she struggled to fight them down.
"Annabelle -" Madame Delacour said gently, looking close to tears herself. "Come and sit, my child."
"No!" Annabelle cried. "I am not your child." Her mother looked hurt, but Annabelle didn't care. "How could you not tell me?"
"We did not know how," Monsieur Delacour said quickly. "Please, ma bichette -"
Annabelle shook her head and walked away, fighting back tears. She had almost reached the door when a hand took a firm grip on her shoulder. She tried to shrug it off, but the grip tightened, and she finally she gave up. She refused to turn, so she stood with her back to the room. A tear slipped down her cheek before she could stop it.
"Annabelle," Mr. Dumbledore said gently in her ear. "Come and sit with me. There is much that you need to understand."
Annabelle sniffed, and shook her head. "I do not want to."
"You must," Mr. Dumbledore said firmly. "I am needed back in England presently, and I haven't much time to spare. Come and sit, my dear."
Annabelle resisted for a moment, but then allowed herself to be led back to the desk where the Delacours were still sitting. Madame Delacour had tears in her eyes, and Monsieur Delacour watched his daughter anxiously as she took a seat in Mr. Dumbledore's chair. The old wizard wandlessly conjured a new chair and took a seat.
"Annabelle, please do not be angry with us," Madame Delacour said tearfully. "We wanted to tell you, but we did not know how."
Annabelle said nothing, and refused to look at her mother. She kept her head bent and stared hard at her hands, trying to keep her own tears at bay.
"This was a surprise I had not been expecting," Mr. Dumbledore said quietly. "I had assumed that she would already know. Either way, I must continue. I haven't much time, and this must be taken care of tonight.
"Annabelle, Monsieur and Madame Delacour are not your birth parents, that is true. But it does not mean that they love you any less."
"Of course not!" Madame Delacour exclaimed, leaning across the table. "Annabelle, we love you very much! That is why we said nothing; we did not want to hurt you, mon ange."
Annabelle finally looked up and saw the tears running down her mother's beautiful face. Although she was hurt more than she had ever been in her life, and although she was incredibly angry that they hadn't told her before now, she knew that what her mother said was true. They did love her, and she loved them. She couldn't be mad at them forever, but for now, she had nothing to say. She nodded briefly, and then turned to the man beside her.
"Do you know my real parents, Monsieur?" she asked.
"I did," Mr. Dumbledore replied. "I'm afraid that they have been dead for ten years now."
"Oh." Annabelle felt a stab of pain for the people she had never known. "What happened to them?"
"Have you ever heard of Lord Voldemort?" he asked.
Annabelle racked her mind for a moment, and then shook her head. "I feel like I've heard the name, but I don't know who he is."
"He was a very wicked wizard!" Madame Delacour muttered.
"That he was," Mr. Dumbledore agreed. "About twenty years ago, Lord Voldemort began gathering followers and started taking over. These were very Dark times; people didn't know who to trust. There were those that fought against him, but he killed them. Your mother and father were among those he killed. And you were with them when that happened."
Annabelle looked at him in shock. "I was?"
"Yes indeed," Mr. Dumbledore replied. "You were very young, but old enough to remember. I did not want you to be haunted by those memories growing up, so I placed a memory charm on you when I handed you over to Olympe."
Mr. Dumbledore nodded. "Yes, she is a good friend of mine, and I trust her completely. When your parents were killed, I needed to get you out of the country as quickly as possible. I gave her the job of finding a home for you where you would be safe and loved. This is where you were taken, and I doubt that she could have found a better family."
"What did you say about a contract?" Annabelle asked, suddenly remembering.
"When you were placed here with the Delacours, I traveled from England to write up a contract with them," Mr. Dumbledore explained. "For their part, they would get another child. They would raise you as though you were their own. But when the time came that you were needed in England, they agreed to let you go. I do not believe that anyone expected it to be so soon, but that time has now come. You are needed at home."
"She's just a child," Madame Delacour argued again. "What help could she be now? Just wait until she's older, and she'll be of more use to you."
"I am sorry, Mademoiselle," Mr. Dumbledore said gently. "But the time is now."
"You want me to go to England with you?" Annabelle looked at Mr. Dumbledore. "What if I do not wish to go?"
"If you decide that you do not wish to leave your family, then you do not have to. But please, allow me to give you all the facts first, and then you shall make your decision."
Annabelle nodded, and Mr. Dumbledore stood and slipped his wand out of his pocket.
"What are you doing, monsieur?" Annabelle asked nervously.
"I am going to remove the Memory Charm, Annabelle," he replied. "Now sit back and relax; this will only take a moment."
Annabelle did as she was bade and sat back in her chair. Mr. Dumbledore stood behind her and placed the tip of his wand to the top of her head. She closed her eyes so she wouldn't have to look at the Delacours, who were sitting on the other side of the desk, holding hands and looking anxious.
Suddenly, her mind went completely blank, and she felt herself slump in her chair.
"Mon Dieu!" Madame Delacour cried. "What has happened?"
"Everything is just fine," Mr. Dumbledore assured her. "The spell has been in place for a long time; it is expected that she will need a moment to recover."
Annabelle took a deep breath and opened her eyes. Both of her parents were standing, looking anxiously down at her. She blinked up at them, confused.
"I do not think it worked, monsieur," she said slowly, pushing herself back into a sitting position. "Maybe you should try it again."
"It did work, my dear," Mr. Dumbledore chuckled. "Forgive me, but it has been many years since I have had a spell not work. You may not remember everything at once; you might require some prompting."
She nodded, and looked around. Everything seemed exactly the same as it had been, but she felt different. It was as though there was something very important that she was forgetting, and her mind was struggling to remember.
"How are you feeling, Annabelle?" Mr. Dumbledore asked gently.
"Fine," she replied. "I have a headache."
"Yes, that is to be expected," he nodded. "Your mind is trying to let the memories out; you need to stop fighting them."
"I'm not trying to," Annabelle said earnestly. "I'm trying to remember."
"Do not try," Mr. Dumbledore advised. "If left alone, the memories will come back to you quite easily."
She nodded, and tried to stop trying to remember.
"Now what?" Madame Delacour asked sharply. "What happens now?"
"Now we wait," Mr. Dumbledore said. "It shouldn't take too long. Could I bother you for a cup of tea? Or a brandy, perhaps?"
Madame Delacour looked as though she were about to refuse, but her husband nudged her.
"It is a good idea," he said quickly. "I am sure Annabelle is hungry as well, aren't you ma bichette?"
"Oui," Annabelle replied, suddenly realizing how hungry she was.
"And what would you like to have?" Madame Delacour asked her daughter, rising gracefully to her feet.
"Toad in the Hole," Annabelle replied.
Her mother stopped and looked at her curiously. "Toad in the hole? What is that?"
"It is an English dish made with sausages," Mr. Dumbledore explained with a smile.
"My mother made it for me," Annabelle said quickly. "It was my favourite." The she realized what she said, and looked up at the adults in surprise. "I remembered!"
"Yes, you did," Mr. Dumbledore smiled. "Is there anything else that you remember?"
Annabelle thought for a moment, and then shook her head. "I do not think so."
"It will come," the old wizard said. "For now, food would be lovely."
Madame Delacour nodded and hurriedly left the library.
"Who were my parents?" Annabelle asked after a moment of silence. "What were their names?"
"Your parents were called Lily and James Potter," Mr. Dumbledore answered.
"Potter?" Monsieur Delacour looked incredulously at the older man. "Not the Potters?"
Mr. Dumbledore nodded, and Annabelle looked between them curiously.
"Who were the Potters?"
"Lily and James Potter were a very popular young couple," Mr. Dumbledore explained to her. "Their deaths were mourned all across the country. But their deaths were also highly celebrated across the country, and even beyond."
"Celebrated?" Annabelle asked. "Why were their deaths celebrated if they were so loved?"
"The deaths of the Potters are celebrated because the night that they were murdered by Lord Voldemort was the night that he was destroyed. Annabelle, are you alright?"
Annabelle sat wide-eyed and pale-faced in her chair as she was assaulted by the memories.
A beautiful, auburn haired woman brushed the hair off Annabelle's forehead and kissed it gently, smiling at her. A tall, dark-haired man sat beside them, grinning down at her.
"It's time for bed, Anna," the woman said.
"Not yet!" Annabelle pouted. "I don't want to."
"It's late, Princess," the man said, looking at her. "How about one more trick, then?"
Annabelle's eyes lit up. "Okay!" She scrambled quickly up onto the couch beside the woman, and the man laughed loudly.
"Quiet, James," the woman admonished. "Harry's asleep."
"Right, sorry. Hold on." I stood up from the couch and stepped across the room to pick his wand up off the couch under the window. He reached out his hand, and froze. "Lily, take them and go! It's him! Go! Run! I'll hold him off!"
Immediately the woman named Lily snatched Annabelle up from the couch and leapt to her feet. Annabelle clung tightly to the woman as they dashed up the stairs and into the nursery. Annabelle could hear the man yelling, and then another voice, cold and sharp, replied. There was a dull thud, and then silence. The woman turned and flung the door shut, and frantically searched the room. She dashed to the side of the Annabelle's bed and knelt down.
"Annabelle, here," she cried,. "Hide under here. And don't make a sound."
"Mama, what is it?"
The woman dropped a blanket down so that it covered Annabelle's hiding place, and then turned to face the door, her back against the crib, blocking the small boy from view.
A moment later, the door burst open, and the woman screamed. Annabelle did her best to not make a sound, but she was scared.
There was a peal of high-pitched laughter, and the person in the doorway moved across the room. "Stand aside."
"No," the woman cried. "Please have mercy; he's just a baby!"
"Not Harry, not Harry, please not Harry!" the woman sobbed.
"Stand aside you silly girl," said the voice again. It was a cold, cruel voice, and Annabelle was terrified. She slowly lifted the side of the blanket just enough for her to peer out and see what was happening. A man in a long black cloak stood between where Annabelle lay hiding and the woman and the baby. "Stand aside now!"
"Not Harry, please no, take me, kill me instead!" the woman cried. "Please, not Harry! Please, have mercy, have mercy…"
The man in the long black cloak lifted his wand and aimed it at the woman's chest. She screamed, drowning out the man's words, and a jet of green light erupted from the end of his wand. The woman hit the ground, and moved no more, her glassy, lifeless eyes staring at Annabelle. Annabelle was so scared she couldn't move.
"And now you," the man said softly, looking down at the small boy in the crib. "You, my greatest threat. A baby boy, for now, but you would grow and get strong, and that I cannot allow to happen."
The boy began to cry, and Annabelle tried to move from her spot to go to him, but she didn't have time. The man lifted his wand again, this time pointing it into the face of the baby. He spoke again, and another flash of green lit up the room, but this time, there was more. It was as though the spell hit a mirror, and deflected around the room.
The man fell to the floor, screaming terribly, and the room exploded around them.
Annabelle opened her eyes to find that Monsieur Delacour was kneeling on the floor in front of her, looking very concerned. Mr. Dumbledore stood just behind him, also looking worried.
"Are you alright?" the old man asked.
"What happened?" Madame Delacour had returned to the library. The tray that had been following her crashed to the floor and shattered, but she paid it no heed. She hurried across the room and knelt beside her husband. "Annabelle, ma Coeur, what is it?"
"I remember!" Annabelle said, shaking. "I remember my parents, and the night they died, and…Harry!" She looked up at Mr. Dumbledore fearfully. "Where is Harry? Is he…he's not…"
"He is alive and well," Mr. Dumbledore assured her. "The night that your parents were murdered by Lord Voldemort was the night that he was destroyed, and Harry is the reason for his disappearance. Voldemort also tried to kill Harry, but was unable to. His curse backfired, and Voldemort was destroyed. Harry is now, currently, in attendance at Hogwarts School, and doing completely fine."
"Pardon-moi," Madame Delacour interrupted, looking confused. "But who is this Harry?
"He's my brother." Annabelle said, looking dazedly around the room. "My little brother."
"Harry Potter," Monsieur Delacour said quietly.
Madame Delacour's eyes widened. "Potter? She is a Potter?"
"You didn't know?" Annabelle asked, looking between her parents.
"Your mother and I knew you were from England," Monsieur Delacour said slowly, "but we knew no more than that." He looked accusingly at the older wizard.
"That is how I wanted it to be," Mr. Dumbledore said sternly. "There were, and still are, many people who work for Lord Voldemort and would wish harm to any Potters still living. Why else would I have taken her from her home?"
Monsieur Delacour said nothing, so Mr. Dumbledore turned back to Annabelle.
"The reason that I am here, Annabelle," Mr. Dumbledore said. "is because there was a bit of an incident at the end of the year involving your brother."
"What happened?" Annabelle was immediately tensed.
"Lord Voldemort somehow made his way into the school," Mr. Dumbledore sighed, shaking his head. He quickly filled Annabelle and her parents in on the happenings of the past year at Hogwarts. "And Harry, once again, made a narrow escape from him."
"Sweet Jesu!" Annabelle gasped. "Why would he go looking for Voldemort?"
"He did not know that it was Lord Voldemort," Mr. Dumbledore explained.
"But he still went looking for trouble!" she cried, getting angry at her brother's idiocy. "Is he a moron?"
Mr. Dumbledore smiled gently and chuckled. "Young Harry is as like his father as you are like your mother."
Annabelle shook her head.
"No!" Madame Delacour said suddenly. She stood slowly, never taking her eyes from those of Mr. Dumbledore. "Your Potter boy has started to get himself into trouble, and you think to take my Annabelle and throw her into the middle of it all as well? Is that is? Well that is not happening! She is not going with you!"
"Yes, I am."
Both Monsieur and Madame Delacour turned to look at their daughter in shock, but Mr. Dumbledore smiled down at her in approval.
"Annabelle," Monsieur Delacour started, but Annabelle held a hand up to stop him.
"No, Papa; I need to go to Harry."
"You are not leaving!" Madame Delacour cried. "We are a family, and family stays together."
"Is Harry not my family?" Annabelle shouted, jumping from her chair. "Is he not my brother? Do we not have the same parents? He needs me, Mama. My baby brother needs me, and I am going to him."
Madame Delacour sank into her daughter's vacated chair, speechless. Annabelle was usually an easy girl to get along with, and did all that her parents asked. She had never before yelled at them, for anything. And, although Madame Delacour wanted nothing more than to keep her child at home in France, she knew that the girl was right; she did need to go to her brother. She covered her face with her hands and began to weep.
Annabelle looked at her father, and he nodded. With a sad smile, she stepped forward to hug her parents.
"I am sorry, Mama," she whispered. "But Harry needs me."
"I know, ma coeur," she whispered back. "But I will miss you."
"I will write," she promised. "Every day, I will write to you."
Fleur stood in the doorway to the library, her blonde hair swinging slightly, as though she had just been running.
"Fleur, how long have you been standing there?" Monsieur Delacour moved to stand next to his eldest child.
"Not long," Mr. Dumbledore answered quickly.
Fleur's cool gaze remained on Annabelle. "You're leaving us?"
"I have to," Annabelle said softly. "I have a little brother, and he needs me."
"What do you mean, you have a brother?"
"Annabelle is not your true blood sister," Monsieur Delacour explained gently. Fleur's pretty face contorted as she tried to understand.
"Not my sister?"
"No," her father replied. "We took her in many years ago, after her family was killed."
"So you're just going to leave us to go to him?" the taller blonde girl snapped, looking back at Annabelle. "What, you find your birth family, so we are suddenly not good enough for you anymore?"
"What?" Annabelle was so shocked that her head flew up and her jaw dropped open. "No, Fleur, it's not like that!"
"I do not care!" the blonde cried. "Leave; I will not miss you."
Without another word, Fleur turned on her heel and stormed from the room. With her exit, the room fell silent. Annabelle didn't know what to say.
Mr. Dumbledore sat silently for another couple of moments until he realized that the Delacours had finished with their good byes. He stood to his feet and looked at Annabelle.
"It is time for us to go, my dear," he said gently.
Annabelle nodded and followed him out of the room without looking back at her family.
"I trust your trunk is still packed?" Mr. Dumbledore asked and, again, she nodded wordlessly. "Alright, go and get your trunk, and then we'll leave."
Annabelle walked slowly into the kitchen to retrieve her trunk, which she had left by the fireplace when she'd arrived home. She picked it up, with difficulty, and then walked back to where Mr. Dumbledore was waiting for her in the entrance hall. He pointed his wand at it, and the trunk disappeared with a pop.
"Hold onto my arm, Annabelle," Mr. Dumbledore said, holding an arm out to her. "Are you ready?"
"Yes, monsieur," she replied.
"Good." Mr. Dumbledore spun on the spot, and the two of them disappeared with another small pop.
They appeared a moment later, hundreds of miles away.