Chapter 1 Good Day Gone Bad
Fred Weasley was really enjoying his day. So far, he had invented a new firework, blown up a cauldron with it, and started to organize his and George's new shop. He couldn't wait until opening day! They planned on opening the first week of August when the younger witches and wizards would be shopping for their new school supplies. He tried to imagine how many Skiving Snackboxes they would be able to sell…
Fred was currently walking down Diagon Alley. Angelina Johnson had stopped by, and Fred had opted to take a short walk while his brother and his brother's girlfriend had some "alone time". He grinned as he thought of how much of a lovesick puppy George acted like whenever she was around.
Every once in a while, Fred would call out a greeting to another witch or wizard-regardless if he knew them or not. It was a great day, and he was feeling extremely friendly.
As if to further his good mood, the sun actually took a moment to shine through the ever-present cloud cover. Now that had been increasingly rare lately. Stuffing his hands into the pockets of his muggle jeans, he started to whistle a merry tune.
He was so lost in thought as he walked, thinking about products to sell in the joke shop, that he didn't notice the girl until he almost ran over her.
"Excuse me!" she exclaimed, backing up and trying to regain her balance. Fed quickly yanked his hands out of his pockets and reached out to steady her.
"Oh no, it was entirely my fault. Wasn't watching where I was going. Are you alright?" he questioned.
"Quite, though I was sure you were gonna mow right over me!" she said with a giggle.
"Mow right over you?" Fred asked, confused with the strange figure of speech.
"Silly me, it's a muggle term. It means run over," she explained, tucking some of her long brown hair behind her ear. "I'm a halfblood-Mum is a witch, Dad is a muggle. I hear and use a lot of terms like that that you probably wouldn't commonly hear among wizards. My name is Melody Landis-aren't you one of those twins opening the joke shop?" She finally stopped to breath, and Fred laughed.
Fred gave an over-exaggerated bow. "Fred Weasley, at your service. My brother, George, is the older, more responsible twin, but I'm better looking. And yes, we are starting a joke shop- Weasley Wizard Wheezes."
Melody giggled, and said "Try saying that five times fast!"
Fred tried to, making her laugh outright. He smiled, and then said "So what brings such a pretty girl like you to Diagon Alley?" He wiggled his eyebrows.
"Oh, I have a summer job at Flourish and Blotts," she said, gesturing
to the store behind her.
"Summer job, huh? So do you still go to school?"
"Yes, Hogwarts actually. I am going into my final year."
Fred frowned, thinking. "How come I've never noticed you?"
Her smile faltered, and she looked at her feet. "Well, maybe 'cause of the year difference, and, well, the fact that I'm a Slytherin?"
The last part was said so quietly that Fred wasn't sure she had said it. "A Slytherin? Really?" He raised his eyebrows in disbelief. "You're too nice to be a Slytherin."
He immediately saw the glint of annoyance in her eyes.
"There are nice Slytherins," she defended.
"Really?" he said skeptically. "Name one, other than you, obviously."
"Well…there's Blaise Zabini."
"Wait, isn't that Malfoy's best friend?" he asked, trying to remember the bloke.
"Yup, and Draco is rather nice too, once you get past all the pureblood mumbo jumbo his dad pounded into him." Fred nodded, looking off into the distance. He wouldn't go so far as to say Malfoy was nice-he still remembered being banned from Quidditch last year when Malfoy had insulted his family and George and Harry had attacked him. But he had never heard much about Zabini.
"Okay, so there is such a thing as nice Slytherins, and I just befriended
one. Merlin, but that sounds
This time Melody raised her eyebrows. "Did you just call me your friend?"
Fred tapped his finger on his chin, adopting a look of deep concentration. "Well, it would seem that way...yes, I suppose I did!" He grinned at her again.
She sighed in relief. "I was afraid you would hate me as soon as I told you my house."
"Don't worry, my brother Ron is the biased one."
He smiled, looking off into the distance at the soon-to-be joke shop. "Hey, do you want a tour of the shop? My twin and his girlfriend have had enough 'alone time' as far as I'm concerned, and after he meets you and likes you like I do, we can spring the whole 'you're a Slytherin' on him. It's not much in the way of pranks, but he reacts to things like that more so than me. And not in a bad way, more in a funny way," he quickly added upon seeing her uncertainty.
"Well, I suppose that does sound fun. I'm done here for now, so-"
It was at that moment that the sun once more disappeared behind the gray clouds. As if it were a bad omen, a scream tore through the alley, cutting Melody off.
Fred whipped around as an explosion boomed behind him. And he saw it, flying through the air. Something… black and smoky? Something tugged at his memory. He had left school before his siblings, Ron and Ginny, had gone to the Department of Mysteries last month, but he had heard enough to know what was happening here.
Death Eater attack.
Wand already in hand, his quickly grabbed Melody's arm and shoved her into Flourish and Blotts. "Stay here!" he shouted, and then quickly ran towards the fray.
"Wha-Fred? What are you doing?" she screamed. He ignored her. Truthfully, he didn't think about it. He just charged. Later, someone would refer to it as his “idiotic Gryffindor bravery.” He supposed it was.
Within seconds, he was locked in a wizard's duel with a Death Eater that had landed in front of him. He had playfully dueled with his twin before, and practiced dueling with the other members of the D.A. last year, but he had never had to duel where he could be badly hurt or worse.
It was both terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. He mentally thanked Hermione for convincing Harry to teach defense last year.
Catching a glimpse of a Death Eater that looked like the werewolf Greyback, he surprised himself, and disarmed and stunned his opponent with incredible ease, causing the Death Eater to be thrown backward into a store with a loud crash. He heard a shout of anger, but ignored it as he ran after Greyback who was running into Ollivander's wand shop.
Ignoring said shout of anger was the second-stupidest thing he had ever done in his life. (The first being trying to fly off the Burrow roof when he was three, without a broomstick…)
Without warning, unless you count the ignored angry shout, from earlier, something hit his back, and pain shot through every fiber of his body. With a cry, he stumbled forward and caught himself on the doorframe of the shop. As he sank to his knees, he caught a glimpse of who he supposed was Ollivander with a black hood over his head, being dragged through his shop. Attempting to see past the pain, he tried to make his arm move, to make his wand point at the werewolf, but his body simply wouldn't respond.
He thought he heard someone screaming his name. He also noticed that someone had walked up behind him, yanking his head back by the hair. He heard the words "Blood-traitor" and "make him pay" but they couldn't seem to register. Greyback seemed annoyed, but the next thing Fred knew, someone had grabbed his arm in an iron grip, and he felt the familiar squeezing-through-a-small-tube sensation of disapperation.
Mum’s going to kill me, he thought, and then darkness claimed him.