I'm sorry that this chapter is so late! I've been really sick all month! It's been horrible and I felt no inspiration to write! Enjoy the chapter, I'll see you at the bottom!

Chapter 2

Merlin Save Us All

Her innocent attitude was unbearable and Severus didn't believe her for a second. He figured that she knew more than she was letting on. "You landed in the manor at a bad time...you see it's being used for something rather important," Potter began. He was going to tell her about the Order? Was he insane?

"Potter, don't even think-" Snape was interrupted.

"She has a right to know, Snape! She's going to be living here!" He snapped back, looking away from his cousin for the first time and right at Severus. The man's hazel eyes were burning with fury. "Iris, have you heard of the Order of the Phoenix?"

The frail girl nodded, a frown adorning her face. "You're housing the Order here, aren't you? My father had his suspicions about it when you asked what shape the manor was last year. He thought you were a fool to try to fight against a madman," she replied with a shrug. "Sometimes you just have to fight for what you believe in. Doing nothing doesn't get you anywhere. It got my parents killed, didn't it?"

Potter gasped and Severus raised an eyebrow at her cold attitude towards her parents. There seemed to be some animosity when it came to them. "Iris..."

"James, I can't change that they're dead. I'll morn their loss later. Right now, what's important is winning this war. Do you have anyway of doing that? This Order of the Phoenix you're helping is the only hope that Wizarding Britain has of survival," she said tiredly.

Potter ran a hand through his hair in an irritating manner. Severus could feel his blood boiling. Where was Dumbledore? He wanted to leave, this manor was giving him hives.

"Potter, as much as I would love to stand here and listen to you talk to your squib of a cousin, we need to have Dumbledore speak to her," Severus interrupted their little talk with a snide comment.

The light behind him exploded and after a quick repair charm he could see that Potter's cousin looked furious and Potter himself looked shocked at her behavior. He had clearly struck a nerve. "I am not a squib," she snarled as magic crackled around her dangerously.

"Iris, calm down. Last time I met with your parents they told me that you weren't allowed to use you magic because of the backlash you got from it," Potter said soothingly and that caught the potions master interest. Backlash from magic was rare...and last time he checked, completely incurable. It was a painful death as your own magic destroyed your body.

"I was cured last year. I don't remember much from that night, but pain. I had accepted that I was going to die earlier than most. From what my mother told me, my heart stopped. Then a miracle happened, it started again. I woke up feeling stronger than I ever had. The healers were shocked that my core wasn't lashing out against me anymore. They think that when I was dead for the brief moment it sent my core into shock, which was enough to fix it. My mother didn't exactly care what the reasons were, she was just happy that I was alive," she replied with a small smile.

"You can use magic?" Severus questioned skeptically. She had arrived with a wand, but that didn't mean that it was hers. Even if her core had settled, that didn't mean she could cast spells. She could be just as dangerous as she was before if she was untrained.

"I was cleared to do basic spells with a wand a few weeks ago," she explained, fidgeting slightly. "I doubt I'll ever be able to do advanced spells work with a wand, but I'm good at warding. I wasn't able to cast spells growing up, so my father had me learn as many ancient tongues as possible and learn all there was to know about ancient runes. I was the one who updated the wards around my parents house," she answered grey eyes slightly unfocused when she mentioned runes.

Severus snorted. "You're what, fifteen or sixteen years old? What could you possibly know about warding and ancient runes?" He asked snidely, baiting her. Her eyes hardened at his jibe.

"First, I'm seventeen. And secondly, unlike most children in magical Britain. I started to study runes when I was ten. My father knew I could never go to school so he figured he'd teach me my family's secondary art. I've been study ancient runes longer than most people taking their N.E. . I'm proficient and my wards don't fail me," she responded, daring Severus to challenge her. Potter himself looked a little worried about his cousin.

"Your wards burned your manor home and everyone else inside of it to the ground, Miss Potter," an elderly voice said from behind them. Dumbledore had finally arrived. The elderly man was looking straight at the young Potter girl. She didn't seem to waver under his stare like most people would have.

"They were supposed to burn it down to the foundation, as per my father's request. If someone were to have broken into the manor and to kill the master of the house the ward was supposed to activate. He didn't want anyone to get their hands on the books in the library," she explained calmly.

Dumbledore gave her a condescending look that many thought was one of pity. He had given that look to Severus often and it made the Slytherin's blood boil. "You killed ten people with that ward. My dear girl, don't you feel any remorse? Two of those people were your parents."

Severus raised an eyebrow. What was Dumbledore doing? Was he trying to get her arrested? There were Aurors in the next room, who were no doubt listening.

"My mother was killed before my father was. They both knew what the wards would do. As for the men that attacked us, I don't care if they died. They were trying to kill me. I was lucky to have made it to the library and escape with my life," she responded rationally. Severus didn't think that she was lying, there wasn't a hint of regret in her voice, nor did she act like she was hiding anything.

Dumbledore didn't seem to like her response. It seemed that he wanted her to be remorseful for the deaths of her parent's killers. "Miss Potter, the runes you used were dangerous and bordering on dark magic..."

Her grey eyes darkened slightly. There was power behind her stare, something that Severus didn't anticipate. Her eyes were chilling, if he were a weaker man he might have shivered. "Those wards are for the protection of the Potter family magic and they weren't illegal either. I made sure of that. Don't accuse me of things you don't understand," she snapped not backing down from the headmaster. Dumbledore seemed shocked by her outburst for moment before composing himself again.

She pulled herself out of bed and stood shakily at her full height, which wasn't very impressive. From what Madam Pomfrey said, years of her being sick stunted her growth, leaving her barely over five feet tall. The girl was only in a borrowed nightgown that Lily put on her and it was starting to fall off her shoulder. She pointed a shaking finger at the grey haired wizard. "And if you ever try to read my mind again, you'll be sorry."

The headmaster's eyes for once, lost their twinkle. "Is that a threat, Miss Potter?"

The potions master bit his tongue from saying something he'd regret. "No, it's a promise. I might not be gifted with frivolous wand waving magic, but I'm strong mentally. Don't push me," she growled, slumping her shoulders slightly, it seemed that her energy was leaving her. Potter went to her side, holding her in his arms and lowering her back onto the bed, like one would do with a child.

The girl's nightgown shifted slightly, exposing her collarbone. There was an odd shaped scar there. It looked familiar, a triangle with circle and line through it. It was a dark pink, like had been inflicted recently. Severus could swear that he had seen that mark before.

"Where did you get that scar?" Dumbledore asked, all humor gone from his voice.

Her tired eyes landed on the scar and she grimaced. "I've had it since the night I died," she replied as her exhaustion took over and she fainted in her cousin's arms.

Potter glared at the headmaster who looked like Christmas had come early. What was he planning? "I think you've done enough here, Dumbledore. Iris needs rest, not you treating her like a criminal."

The grey haired wizard nodded in agreement. "No, she does not. James, my boy, don't let her out of your sight. We might just win this war yet."

What Potter did next surprised the surly potions master. He walked up to Dumbledore and grab him by his collar. "You stay away from her. You used my family once before and got my only son killed. I won't have you trying to harm my cousin. She isn't your chosen pawn!" He snarled.

Just as Severus was about to cast a spell a flash a red hair came running into the room. Lily pushed her husband back and separated him from the headmaster. "I think you should leave," she said quietly, then turned to her husband, "Take Iris upstairs. Sirius and Remus helped me put the guest room together for her."

As Dumbledore turned to leave he motioned for Severus to follow him. The spy sighed, but didn't protest. Once they were outside the headmaster turned to him. "Severus, you are to guard Iris Potter as if your life depended on it. She might be the key to winning this war."

"Like Potter would willingly let me watch over his cousin. You're asking the impossible," Severus responded, rolling his eyes with disdain.

"I'll talk to Lily, who will talk some sense into James. Everything is for the greater good," he told him before disapperating with a pop.

The overworked spy rubbed his eyes tiredly. The greater good was going to get him killed.

I actually wrote a college paper on Dumbledore's "greater good" moral rationality. Anyway, I hope that you liked the chapter. It was interesting to write. Iris is different from most characters that I've written. She isn't physically strong, most of my characters are on the rasher side, punch first and then talk.

The next chapter will be in Iris' POV with a bit of Marauder interaction. This story is going to focus a lot on Snape though and good old Voldemort will come in soon.

So, I can't really apologize enough for this coming out as late as it is. As I said, I've been really sick. Basically, I got my wisdom teeth out in late May, and it had been about a month since I had gotten them out when my jaw swelled up. Apparently, it takes about four-six weeks for infections to set in and man was it a bad one. On top of that the medicine messed up my digestive system for the next three weeks.

I've had a really bad month health wise. I'll try to be more consistent with my updates from now on, promise.

Thank you all so much for reviewing! It makes me want to write in the first place!


I don't own Harry Potter