Under This Conditon
Mrs Weasley's heart skipped a beat as she looked at the scene before her. This wasn't what she had expected to find in Ron's room at six in the morning! "Oh my- Sirius! Leah! I think you'd both better come here!"
Sirius, having just left his bedroom, and Leah Patil, having just left the bathroom, dressed, shot each other confused looks. They followed Mrs Weasley's voice, and stood next to her at the door.
"Molly?" asked Leah, concerned. "What's wrong?"
Molly pointed towards Harry's bed, and Sirius and Leah followed her gaze. Leah choked on her own spit and Sirius let out a bark-like laugh that had Molly give him a scolding look. But Sirius couldn't help it.
It wasn't everyday you woke up at six o'clock to find two half naked fifteen year olds entangled in each other's limbs and sheets.
Harry felt as though he had spontaneously combusted; his cheeks felt as though they were on fire. The green-eyed teen was keeping his eyes firmly on the bedroom floor, hoping it would swallow him up. He was determinedly avoiding Sirius's gaze. He tried to focus on what Mrs Weasley and Mrs Patil were saying, but with Parvati so close to him, and her wonderful scent driving him senses crazy, it was very hard to.
"…very irresponsible! Only fifteen, and in the same bed!" Mrs Weasley was saying shrilly. "Honestly, Harry, what would your parents make of this?"
Harry felt his cheeks burn in more shame than embarrassment. Sirius cleared his throat.
"Now, now, Molly," Sirius began, raising his palms to her, "I don't mean to offend, but you are not the parental authority here. Perhaps you should leave this to Leah and I. I am Harry's godfather, after all."
Mrs Weasley gave a great sigh, and seeing the reasoning, headed out of the room. Mrs Patil and Sirius were sitting on Ron's bed opposite Harry's, where Parvati and Harry were perched, appropriately attired.
"Look, Harry, Par," started Mrs Patil, "I vowed a long time ago that I would not do what my mother told me to do, which was how to live my life. I won't tell you what you can and can't do, but I want to make two things very clear - one, you are only fifteen years of age. You don't need to rush anything. And two, if you…do….decide to, uh, rush things…well, be safe, please?"
Harry gulped loudly, and chanced a look at his girlfriend. Parvati's face was bright red, which made Harry want to laugh. She looked so cute when she was embarrassed, especially since her hair was all mussed up.
She hissed "Mum! Seriously, do you have to say that in front of him!" she waved her hand in an elaborate fashion at Harry. "We…we're…I mean…We.." She started to splutter. "We...We are not having this conversation! I...."
Harry swallowed, but looked directly at Parvati's mum as he said firmly, We're not anywhere near that stage, yet, Mrs Patil."
Sirius looked equally as uncomfortable as Harry and Parvati as he said, "Well, you said exactly my sentiments, Leah. But I think, for Molly's sake, you two should refrain from nightly tête-à-têtes, eh?" The dark-haired man rubbed the back of his neck.
Parvati mumbled, "Yes," and Harry nodded. "Yes, sir."
Sirius laughed. "Sir?"
"Sorry, Sirius. Reflex."
"No problem, kiddo."
Mrs Patil sprung from the bed and motioned to Parvati. "Come on, love, why don't we have some breakfast?"
Completely humiliated, she gave Harry a small tentative smile and a squeeze of his hand before she followed her mother out of the room. Harry rose at the same time as Sirius.
His godfather clapped him on the shoulder, looking very awkward.
"Uh, Harry…you have had 'The Talk', haven't you?"
Harry, if possibly, went redder. "Uh, yeah, Uncle Vernon gave it to me last year…"
Sirius sighed visibly with relief. "Thank Merlin. You know, I'm not used to all this parenting type stuff."
Harry smiled. "You're doing a good job. Trust me."
Sirius grinned. "Yeah, well…anyways, Harry, I just wanted to let you know, that if your dear old dad was still around he'd be pretty proud of last night's efforts."
Sirius left Harry utterly mortified.
What an embarrassing summer this would turn out to be!
Harry and Parvati were subjected to much teasing during the holidays, but found that it became less and less, although every time Harry rounded a room the Weasley twins would pounce on him. They were attempting to re-enact the scene of Parvati jumping Harry and pulling him in for a spectacular kiss when he'd come back from the Ministry and announced he'd been cleared of all charges.
Parvati gently resting her head on his shoulder shook Harry out of the memory. She was sitting on the seat next to him on the Knight Bus. Harry supposed that it wasn't very comfy, but his girlfriend seemed to be comfortable. The green-eyed teen smiled at her. She'd been so excited when Lavender had owled her; Lavender had won the modelling competition, and now had a contract. "She gets to appear in Witch Weekly soon!" the brown haired girl had squealed with obvious delight for her best friend. "And she'll be the face of Magical Makeup!"
The holidays passed in a blur, and Harry couldn't believe it was already time to go back to Hogwarts. As the bus wheeled in and out of London traffic, Harry thought back to those events that stuck vividly in his memory…
Nightmares of Voldemort continued throughout the summer, imbuing Harry with unease. He was constantly tired, never getting enough sleep; he'd taken to walking around the house at night, as if he could somehow tire himself out into slumber. That was what he explained to a concerned Sirius, anyway; Harry decided that his godfather didn't need to know that Harry spent darkest night ghosting the silent house to avoid sleep; to avoid Voldemort's high, cold voice, to avoid Cedric's lifeless eyes...
Harry had been surprised to find Ginny doing the same one night. The two stood near the kicthen counter, drinking tea, swapping nightmare stories. It had taken a while to coax it out of her, but Ginny finally admitted that she still had nightmares about Tom Riddle. The diary. The friendship. The trust. The power. The fear. The betrayal. Pale moonlight highlighted the redhead's features, the dark shadows under her eyes prominent. This revelation had Harry feeling like someone had thrust a dagger into his side and twisted it. He was so stupid; how could he simply forget about what had happened to her? The sense of brotherly affection and the need to protect and aid Ginny Weasley became strong for Harry. His actions, his mistake in telling Cedric to take the cup with him, had already brought his Parvati nightmares; and now he had mistakenly thought Ginny would be okay after her ordeal.
Harry felt pathetic. He couldn't do anything right. Ginny rested a hand on Harry's shoulder. "It's not your fault, Harry. None of it is."
Harry wasn't sure if Ginny was just referring to her nightmares or not. He was about to reply when suddenly, voices and footfalls from outside the kitchen became apparent. The voices were angry, and the footsteps quick. On somewhat childish instinct, Harry and Ginny ducked behind the counter, hoping whoever was coming wasn't angry at them.
Sirius Black and Remus Lupin entered the kitchen. Sirius was in his pyjamas, and it looked as though Remus had just come off Order duty; his well-worn clothes were covered in dust and he had a long cut along his cheek. Sirius sounded angry, and Remus sounded like he was trying to keep his temper in check; an odd thing for the usually calm man.
"Look," began Remus, "If you'd just let me explain-"
"You never told me, Remus!" hissed Sirius. "I had to hear it from Tonks, for crying out loud! She said that Hana-" Harry fuzzily recalled a blonde woman who escorted his from the Dursley's, "-had to verify her identity on a mission, and that she said her last name was Lupin! We've been sitting around here for two months and you just happened to forget to mention that you're married and have a kid?"
Harry and Ginny's mouths fell open in unison. Married? A kid? Lupin?
Remus sighed as Sirius grabbed a bottle of Firewhisky off the counter. Harry silently thanked the stars that he didn't notice the two tea cups. "Look, Sirius, Hana and I both decided we didn't want anyone to know- no, listen to me!" he said quickly, for Sirius made to interject. "Listen, Sirius! It would completely tarnish her name and her career if people knew, being married to a werewolf isn't the easiest thing in the world!"
Sirius took a large gulp of firewhisky before sighing. "I'm sorry, Remus," he apologised. "It's - it was just a shock to me. For some reason I thought everything would be just like before Azkaban."
Remus smiled, waving away the apology. "No need, Sirius, old friend. I understand."
They were silent for a moment before Sirius said, "So, how old is she? Your daughter?"
Remus grinned, looking younger than Harry could ever remember seeing him. "She's three. Her name's Grace; Grace Hana Lupin."
"Harry?" Parvati waved her hand in front of Harry's in a flourish. "C'mon, this is our stop. Hogwarts Express, here we come!"
"I can't believe her," Hermione hissed, uncharacteristically seething. The knuckles were white as she gripped her fork and stabbed her steak moodily. "Did you hear what she was saying?"
Harry sighed, stressed. "No, I kind of spaced out, but I got the general message."
With the arrival of Professor Umbridge, and the constant suspicious looks Harry was thrown, the Welcoming Feast turned out to be not so welcoming for Harry and his friends. To top it all off, Hagrid wasn't at the head table. Lavender and Seamus were slightly oblivious to the whole thing. They were too busy locking lips.
Harry sighed louder, and threw an anxious glance behind him to some third year Slytherins who were whispering loudly. He wasn't sure if he was being paranoid, or self-conscious, but it seemed like everyone was staring at him, passing judgement. It was worse than his second year, when students thought he was the Heir of Slytherin. The air around his group of friends was thick with tension. Hermione, Harry, Parvati, Ron and Dean were equally mad about the You-Know-Who situation. It seemed everyone thought Harry was lying!
Harry closed his eyes, as if pained. What, did they all think Cedric Diggory just dropped dead of his own accord?
Lavender Brown had everything to be happy about, and was rightly so celebrating. She was back at Hogwarts, a place she loved. She was dating one of the hottest people in the school, (and not a bad kisser, either) Seamus Finnegan. She was going to appear in the hottest magazine around, Witch Weekly, not to mention be the cover girl for her favourite brand of cosmetics, Magical Makeup! Lavender swore by their foundation (and had told poor Eloise Midgeon of this) and their fruity flavoured lip-glosses were to die for. To top it all off, she had the cutest baby brother in the world, Sage Brown.
That is why she had decided to crack open a few bottles of Firewhisky late in the evening in her dorm. She nudged Parvati with one of the bottles, but she didn't notice. Parvati was too absorbed looking through the latest copy of Witching Hour, the Wizarding World's top fashion magazine. Lavender smirked; one day she'd be in there, and Parvati could be admiring what she was wearing. At least, the nice part of Miss Brown noticed, Parvati wasn't worrying about what everyone was saying about You-Know-Who for a change. The girl need to stress less!
"Hey," started Parvati suddenly, "Do you think this is chiffon?" She was pointing at a dark blue dress. Lavender rolled her eyes.
"I don't know, you're the fashion material expert, right? Hey, Par, have a drink with me!"
Parvati eyed the bottle in Lav's hand warily. "No, thanks."
Lavender sighed. "Hermione?" she offered. The bushy haired witch rose out from behind her Ancient Runes textbook. She'd been doing some 'light reading' again. Hermione wrinkled her nose. "No way."
"C'mon," cried Lavender, settling herself on the end of Parvati's bed, "Where's your Gryffindor courage?"
"Sitting safely with my logic," remarked Hermione dryly. "Do you realise how many brain cells you're going to lose, Lavender?"
Parvati asked, a bit curious, "Where'd you get it?"
"Seamus, who got it from Fred and George, who got it from Oliver Wood, who got it from Madam Rosmerta."
"How'd Wood manage that?"
Lavender waved her hand dramatically. "Who knows! Who cares! C'mon, Pav, just have some!"
Parvati thought it over. It was only one little bottle, it was not like she'd be blind drunk…what was the worse that could happen?
Oh, realised Parvati, I'd blurt out secret stuff, like stuff about my visions or about Harry…
"It'll be fine, Parvati," assured Lavender, "Just remember, anything that is said in the dorm, stays in the dorm. I promise."
Parvati bit her lip, and took the opened bottle from Lavender. Hermione huffed loudly behind her, "Peer pressure…"
Parvati tried to give the bushy haired witch a reassuring smile. "I'm only going to drink one bottle, Hermione- you can make sure of that. And at least my first time drinking is with people I trust, and not at a party…" Parvati cleverly left out the 'just like Lavender did in fourth year.'
Hermione didn't look too convinced. "We're fifteen, for Christ's sake! It's a bit young to be doing this!"
Lavender took a hefty swig from her bottle, eyeing Hermione lazily from her lavish four poster bed. "There's first years that do this, Hermione."
Hermione looked revolted, and choked, "Eleven year olds? Seriously?!"
Parvati hesitated a moment, not meeting Hermione's eyes, and took her first gulp of alcohol. The first thing she realised was that she shouldn't have gulped it; Oh, Firewhisky burned! Lavender giggled as she watched her best friend pull a face and Hermione looked smug.
"See?" said the bright witch. "It's not that great after all."
Lavender rolled her eyes and said, "Have another go, Parvati, it gets better after a while."
Hermione didn't even try to be quiet as she said, "Yeah, once you're so off it you don't care!"
Parvati drank a few more mouthfuls over the next the minutes, until she had downed a quarter of the bottle; Firewhisky didn't taste any better, and she felt funny, like she did when she was having a vision; disorientated…and Sweet Mother of Merlin, should her head be hurting this much? She hadn't had that much to drink; surely she shouldn't be reacting like this? W-What were those flashes of? People? Places? She heard the voices, the different dialects and accents, saw the mindless faces. What was happening?
"-The horror stories I've heard-" "-Kill the spare-" "-marry me?-" "-Momma-" "-over there, put it there-" "-seventh month dies-" "-I trusted you!-" "-I thought he said-"
There were too many visions, too many! And why were they so fuzzy? Why couldn't she See? Parvati let out a sob, half-aware of what was happening. She screamed. Both her sight and Sight were out of her control.
Hermione quickly held onto Parvati tightly as she began to sway. "What's-?" Parvati tried to ask, but everything seemed to be going out of focus, and her tongue was tied. All of a sudden, it was like she was looking through a kaleidoscope. Her eyes rolled into the back of her head, and she heard Hermione scream.