Being Different Year 6

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Helping with Staff Recruitment

“Annie, you need to wake up,” said Irwin nudging her slightly.

“Hmmm?” she muttered.

“It’s nearly twelve o’clock, you’re meant to be going home.”

“Twelve o’clock!” she shouted, “why didn’t you wake me up five hours ago?”

“Because my auburn goddess is even more beautiful when she’s asleep,” said Irwin giving her a kiss.

“I only waked you up now because you’re meant to be going home.”

“Merlin,” muttered Anne jumping out of bed to get dressed.

Irwin chuckled slightly as he packed Anne’s bag whilst she brushed her teeth and redid her hair.

“Anne?” asked Aislynn when she came downstairs.

“Hmmm?”

“How come your bed wasn’t slept in last night?”

The adults around the table all looked at each other all unsure what to answer, Rolf was trying to not laugh as he did him paperwork at the kitchen table.

“I wasn’t tired,” she shrugged.

“Yeah we stayed up all night reading,” nodded Irwin.

Averett and Aislynn looked at them suspiciously but were soon distracted when Gwendoline brought out the pudding.

“So how was Irwin’s?” smirked Julian when she got home, “get much sleep?”

“I did actually,” said Anne taking her bag up to her room.

“She does look much more well rested,” muttered Tonks who was in the middle of feeding Teddy.

“Anne,” said Remus running up to Anne’s room remembering something, “Dumbledore’s coming around tonight, he has something he needs to talk to us all about.”

“Couldn’t we just say that I’m still at the Scamander’s whilst I hide in my room?” Anne sighed.

She wasn’t Dumbledore’s biggest fan right now; he had spent the whole last year ignoring her and Harry and had only showed up when Anne had already been tortured.

“Anne,” smiled Remus, “is that really the mature thing to do?”

“Who ever said I wanted to be mature?” asked Anne.

Remus gave her a significant look.

“Alright fine,” Anne said reluctantly, “but if I get fed up with him, I’m leaving the room and going up to my room.”

“Fair enough,” said Remus laughing slightly, holding his hand out for Anne to shake.

Anne went up to her room to get her vintage music fix before Dumbledore polled up.

“Seriously Anne, what is it with you and this group!” exclaimed Julian coming in.

Anne opened her eyes and glared at him.

“The Seekers make me happy,” she reminded him.

“Well they make me sick,” he grinned.

“Get out,” she said abruptly pointing at her door.

“I mean I get why you guys like Monty Python because they’re legendary. But the Seekers?”

“Get out!” she screamed shoving him towards the door and closing it behind him.

“Watch out everyone, red alert upcoming!” Julian shouted down the stairs from the corridor.

“Muffliato,” Anne growled closing her bedroom door.

The thing that annoyed her most was that Julian was kind of right, her period was coming up. She hated brothers and since Julian had moved in two years ago, she basically had two of them.

She only managed to get all the way through one record when there was a knocking on the door.

“Come in!” she called turning the record off.

“Hey sweetheart,” said Remus, “its time for dinner, Dumbledore will be around afterwards.”

Anne groaned slightly.

“I’m not hungry,” she muttered.

“Kreacher and Dobby made pizza,” he said.

“Chicken and pesto?”

“Of course,” he grinned.

“Red peppers and sun-dried tomatoes?”

“What else do you put on a chicken and pesto pizza?”

“Oh alright,” said Anne opening her eyes and getting off the bed.

“So how much longer is the ticking time-bomb till code red arrives?” asked Harry as Anne sat down at the table.

“Oi,” said Julian giving him a thump, “don’t steal my jokes!”

“Oi,” said Sirius glaring at both of them, “don’t upset the ladies on the lead up to code red, they can get pretty riled up.”

“If one more person mentions code red at this table, they will be getting a lot more than a thump,” said Tonks.

“What’s code red?” asked Dobby.

“For Merlin’s sake,” muttered Anne banging her head against the table repeatedly.

“Ok new family rule,” said Remus, “no discussion of code red at the dinner table.”

The family ate their pizzas, everyone had their favourite toppings, Anne for example had chicken and pesto whilst Remus and Harry both had meat feast and Tonks had ham and pineapple.

After a quick pudding of fresh fruit salad, they cleared the table before Dumbledore arrived.

“What is my favourite flavour of jam?” asked Dumbledore once he had arrived.

“Raspberry,” answered Remus.

“Who taught me how to cast a Patronus?” asked Remus.

“Minerva McGonagall.”

“We’re good,” said Remus as they both put their wands away.

“What’s happened Albus?” asked Sirius as he saw Dumbledore’s sombre expression.

“Well firstly Emmeline is dead,” said Dumbledore.

“Emmie?” asked Remus in a voice barley above a whisper.

Dumbledore nodded slowly.

“When did this happen?” asked Sirius.

“They found the body this morning, from the looks of her she put up a good fight!”

“Kreacher,” said Sirius, “can you get out some firewhisky and glasses?”

They poured out glasses of firewhisky for everyone except Kreacher and Dobby who got given butterbeer.

“To Emmeline,” said Dumbledore raising his glass.

“To Emmeline,” they all repeated raising their glasses.

The firewhisky burnt on the way down Anne’s throat, it was not a sensation she enjoyed or hoped to enjoy anytime soon.

“Professor?” said Anne, “you said you came about more than one thing?”

“Correct Anne, well I do bring some good news, I have found and destroyed another Horcrux,” Dumbledore said placing a battered old ring with a crack in the middle of the stone.

“Woah,” said Harry reaching to pick it up and examine it.

“No Harry,” said Dumbledore blocking him with a half-blackened hand.

“Albus what happened to your hand?” asked Tonks suspiciously.

Dumbledore tried to hide his hand beneath his robes.

“The Horcrux?” asked Sirius.

“Yes,” muttered Dumbledore, “I’m afraid so.”

“Has the curse been removed?” asked Tonks.

“Yes it has,” said Dumbledore.

“So how many Horcruxes we got left then?” muttered Harry.

“Three.”

“Ok then, four down three to go,” said Sirius.

“Anything else you needed Albus?” asked Sirius.

“I need Harry and Anne here to help me with something,” said Dumbledore.

“Do you two remember Horace Slughorn?”

“How could we ever forget old Sluggy?” chuckled Sirius.

“Who’s Slughorn?” asked Julian.

“The potions teacher and head of Slytherin before Severus,” said Remus.

“What do you need Slughorn for?” asked Tonks.

“We need a new potions teacher,” said Dumbledore.

“What about Snivelus?” asked Sirius.

Remus glared at him.

“Sorry Severus,” Sirius corrected himself.

“Severus is going to be teaching Defence this year,” said Dumbledore.

Sirius’ mouth dropped open and Julian had to close it shut for him.

“Why do you need me and Anne though?”

“You may be able to help um er persuade him,” said Dumbledore.

“Are you seriously recruiting our kids to help with your staffing problems?” asked Sirius.

“We need Horace Sirius and this might work.”

“Fine,” grumbled Sirius, “just don’t bring them back too late.”

Dumbledore, Harry and Anne all walked out to the front doorstep and side-apparated to where Slughorn was living.

“This is a muggle village sir,” said Harry looking at the village clock tower which said it was a quarter to eight.

“I am well aware of that Harry,” said Dumbledore cheerfully as they started to walk towards one of the houses.

Dumbledore walked up to one of the houses, there were no lights on and there was no car parked outside.

He knocked but there was no answer, he opened the door anyway and poked his head around the door.

“Wands out,” Dumbledore muttered.

Harry pulled his wand out from his jeans pocket and Anne from her jacket.

“What the hell?” muttered Harry as they walked into the house.

There was blood on the walls, shattered glass everywhere, books scattered around the room chaotically, furniture overturned. There had clearly been a duel here and it hadn’t ended well for the occupant.

“I think we’re a little bit late sir,” whispered Anne, shaking slightly as she worried that there might still be some deatheaters hanging around.

“I wouldn’t be so sure of that,” smiled Dumbledore, as he touched the blood on the walls.

Dumbledore prodded a plump fluffy armchair with his wand.

“Good evening Horace,” said Dumbledore chuckling slightly.

The squashy armchair slowly turned into an equally plump and squat elderly wizard in a pair of purple striped pyjamas.

“What gave it away?” he groaned.

“Dragon’s blood,” said Dumbledore smiling slightly.

“Ah yes of course,” muttered Slughorn, “it’s a pity too, that was the last I had left.”

“Perhaps I could save it?” said Slughorn walking over to the where the blood was on the walls.

“I wouldn’t recommend it sir,” said Anne, “it’s far too dusty.”

“And how young lady can you tell that?”

“You can see the specks of dust within the blood even when it’s in on the wall, it’s also slightly discoloured.”

“How is the bright young lady you have brought with you Albus?”

“This is Anne Potter, and of course her brother Harry,” he said indicating Harry who had been trying to right some of the furniture.

“Merlin’s beard,” exclaimed Slughorn looking from Anne to Harry and back again, “I’m surprised I didn’t realise earlier; they look exactly like them!”

“You knew Mum and Dad?” asked Harry.

“Of course,” beamed Slughorn smugly “your mother Lily was one of my best students.”

“Horace, do you think we should return this house to its proper state before its rightful owners return?” asked Dumbledore.

Slughorn and Dumbledore stood back to back with their wands out and started to fix the house.

“Coincidentally who does live here?” asked Dumbledore as they fixed the chandelier.

“A family of muggles, they’re on holiday for a fortnight.”

“I’m afraid the answer is no Albus,” said Slughorn as he fixed the piano.

“I haven’t even asked you yet!” chuckled Dumbledore

“Yes, but we both know why you’re here, joining your staff at the moment is suicide, its practically the same as joining the Order of the Phoenix.”

“You don’t have to join the Order to teach at Hogwarts,” said Harry slightly offended.

“He’s right,” said Anne, “Professor Flitwick’s not in the Order.”

“How is Filius?”

“Better now that his students aren’t being tortured by my Defence teacher.”

“So that’s what she did!” exclaimed Slughorn, “no wonder she’s in trouble at the Ministry.”

“Trouble,” grumbled Harry, “she deserves to be in Azkaban.”

Anne flinched as she covered her hand reminding her that she must learn the difference between dreams and reality.

“Horace do you mind if I use your bathroom?” asked Dumbledore.

“Of course,” shrugged Slughorn.

“Professor,” said Harry, “you do realise if you came back to teaching you wouldn’t have to hide all the time?”

“Hogwarts has got extraordinarily good protection,” muttered Slughorn nodding.

Anne had walked over to the mantlepiece where there was a large number of moving photographs.

One of the photographs showed a slightly younger version of Slughorn who’s hair was not quite as white yet standing with a group of students.

Two of the students at the front of the group looked familiar to Anne, one of them had Anne’s face and the same coloured hair, but Lily’s hair was shorter that Anne’s and she had different coloured eyes. Professor Snape was also in the picture in the front row like Lily but she was clearly trying to avoid his eye and standing at the other end of the row, this must have been after their big argument then. Taking another look at the back of the group, she thought she could even see Frank Longbottom raising his glass at the camera.

Slughorn came over as Anne was looking longingly at the photograph.

“Your mother really was an exceptionally talented witch,” said Slughorn smiling, “we were always good friends.”

“If you think Mum was powerful you clearly haven’t met my little Sis,” beamed Harry proudly, “top of the class in everything, and she can do wandless magic without even trying.”

Anne hid behind one of her plaits and pulled at the end of it whilst glaring at her brother behind her hair.

“She’s also very shy,” smiled Harry in a stage whisper.

“Can you really do wandless magic?” asked Slughorn enthusiastically.

Anne shrugged.

“She’s been able to for years,” nodded Harry.

“That is extraordinary!” exclaimed Slughorn.

Anne sighed, Dumbledore said Slughorn was essential, it was clear that she was going to have to show Slughorn her powers.

She handed Harry her wand and brushed her hair from in front of her face.

She stood firmly with her feet hip width apart and took a deep breath before placing her hands out in front of her.

She made one of the books from around the room fly towards her and guided it around the room before placing it back where it had come from.

“Extraordinary,” muttered Slughorn.

“You haven’t seen anything yet,” said Harry proudly as he placed a glass of water on the table.

Anne stared at the glass of water and levitated the water out of the glass and manipulated it into a ball in mid-air. She then manipulated it into a stream of water which she sent around the room before forming it in a ball of water. Finally, she made it into a tiny rabbit made out of water which frolicked around the room. She then carefully placed the water back into the glass having not lost a single drop of water.

“Merlin’s beard!” muttered Slughorn, “Merlin’s ruddy beard!”

“How can you even do that,” he stuttered, “and at your age!”

“Daily practise,” admitted Anne taking her wand back from Harry and hiding back behind one of her plaits.

“I expect extraordinary things from you young lady,” said Slughorn, “it must be an honour to teach you.”

“You can teach her if you work at Hogwarts,” Harry pointed out, “and there is nowhere safer in the country.”

Slughorn stammered for a moment before coming to a decision as Dumbledore came back into the room.

“Albus, I’ll do it, but I want a pay rise and a bigger office,” he finally decided.

“See you in September Horace,” beamed Dumbledore holding out his hand for Slughorn to shake.

“Well, that went better than I thought it would,” beamed Dumbledore as they left.

“What do you mean sir?” asked Anne.

“Did you think he wasn’t going to agree to take the position?” asked Harry.

“No I knew he’d take the job,” said Dumbledore, “I just thought it might take longer to persuade him. What did you do?”

“I had Anne show him her superpowers,” Harry chuckled.

Dumbledore looked confused for a moment.

“He means my wandless magic,” Anne explained.

“Ahhh,” Dumbledore sighed.

Dumbledore side apparated home with Harry and Anne and they were soon back at the doorstep of number 12 Grimmauld Place.

“You two should get some sleep, oh and coincidentally you should be receiving your OWL results tomorrow morning.”

Dumbledore disapparated before they even went in the door.

“Can we both agree, this is the strangest night of the Summer so far?” asked Harry staring at where Dumbledore had just been standing.

Anne nodded slightly before they both went back into the house.

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