WARNING: This is full of SPOILERS for this story, including Alison's lineage and other big reveals! So don't read it if you don't want anything spoiled for you!
Year 5: Chapter 1:
Chapter Warning: mention of abuse, slight cursing, and a mention of suicide
Alison's day started off like most of her days that summer; Alison was sitting with her back against the wall in one of London's subways. She was playing her tin whistle, while people walking by would toss some money into the hat set on the ground in front of her. Despite the grimy, busy atmosphere of the subway, Alison was relaxed and content.
At least she was relaxed until she happened to meet the eyes of a familiar face. In a split second, his face mirrored her surprised face. However, Alison quickly averted her eyes and, skipping a few notes of the song, continued playing the tin whistle.
She had on a calm exterior, but under it, she was freaking out. She was hoping that he would think that he was mistaken and leave without telling anyone. Heck, she would even be okay if he just wouldn't tell anyone. She didn't need anyone to worry about her or question her reasoning for living like this. They wouldn't understand anyway, Alison thought bitterly.
Thus, she was peeved when the cause of her worrying walked in front of her and stopped. Alison hesitantly met his eyes again.
"Alison, what are you doing here?" Remus Lupin asked with concern and bemusement clearly detectable in his voice.
Alison stopped her playing to reply, "I would think that it's obvious."
In response to Lupin's befuddled expression, Alison elaborated, "I'm playing my tin whistle. Now if you kindly step aside; you're preventing my profits from growing." Alison gave a pointed look to his feet that were next to her hat, and she resumed playing, hoping he would get the hint and leave.
Instead, only Lupin's expression changed to one of annoyance and surprise, annoyance for her response to his question and surprise for realizing that Alison was doing this for money.
"Why are you here and not at home in the orphanage? And give me a real answer, not one of your snarky retorts."
Alison stopped playing again and sighed loudly to convey her exasperation to him. She looked at him challengingly and answered, "As I would have thought to be apparent, I'm here to play and get money." Alison stood up straight to say, "The orphanage was never a home to me. I am home now."
Alison kept her stance as she watched Lupin's face morph into an unreadable expression. He stood there staring at her for a minute before saying, "Come with me. I'm going to take you somewhere where we can talk about this more privately." Lupin looked around vigilantly.
"Do we really have to talk about it?" Alison asked stubbornly.
Lupin glanced at her annoyed. "Yes, now let's go." He grabbed onto her arm to lead her, but she quickly pulled her arm away.
"Let me just get my things together and go to the bathroom first, sheesh," Alison said while rolling her eyes at him. She picked up her hat filled with money and put the money in a Ziploc bag before putting everything into her small backpack.
Lupin followed her to the doorway of the women's restroom where Alison turned to him and said, "I'll be out in a little bit," before she walked in.
Inside, Alison immediately locked herself in one of the bathroom stalls. Once again thankful that she had put an undetectable extension charm, albeit a weak one, on her small backpack, Alison reached inside for a set of clean clothes to change into, a washcloth to wash the dirt off of her, and a hairbrush to make her hair more presentable.
After putting her hair back into a braid, Alison examined herself in the mirror over the sink. She wanted to make her case for living by herself on the streets instead of in an orphanage as good as she could, and that included making it look like she can take care of herself, thus looking presentable.
Deciding that she looked good enough, Alison exited the restroom and found Lupin standing right outside. Still annoyed at him, Alison didn't even look at his face as she said to him, "I'm ready. Let's go."
Lupin led her outside and into an alley between two buildings. There, Lupin seized her arm and warned Alison, "Hold on tight," before he apparated her and himself.
"Where are we?" Alison asked sharply.
"We're going to Headquarters. Now read this, and think about what you've read." Lupin handed Alison a piece of parchment, which said:
"The headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix may be found at number twelve, Grimmauld Place, London."
Alison, annoyed with Lupin but curious, quickly did as he ordered. Almost immediately 12 Grimmauld Place appeared. Lupin, still keeping a firm grip on her arm, pulled Alison into the house.
"Don't make a sound," Lupin whispered as he dragged Alison though the house. Finally they came to a door, and Lupin forcibly put Alison into the chair beside the door.
"Stay here and don't make any noise. I'll be right back." With those words, Lupin waved his wand at the door before opening and going though it.
When the door shut, Alison crossed her arms and legs with a huff and scowled. She examined the room around while thinking. She briefly wondered where she was and why Lupin brought her here. She concluded based on his reactions before that he must have brought her here either because this is a secure location for him and/or others to question her or because he was making a stop before going to a secure location to question her. Alison hoped it was the latter so that she had a greater chance to avoid questioning.
Alison quickly got bored as five minutes of waiting turned into ten and then into twenty. After about a half-an-hour of waiting, people began to file out of the room. Most of the strangers didn't even look her way, but those who did meet her eyes were given an impassive look.
Once the strangers had left, Lupin came out and brought her into the room.
Alison hesitantly entered the room, which looked to be a kitchen turned into a meeting room. She recognized the occupants of the room as Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, Professor McGonagall, Sirius, and Professor Snape. They all looked at her questionably.
They didn't look like they knew the reason she was there or how Lupin had found her, so Alison decided to play ignorant. "Why'd you bring me here? I doubt it's just for a social visit."
Lupin replied, "Tell everyone here how I found you."
Alison said nonchalantly, "Well, I was just minding my own business when suddenly Professor Lupin is there. He ordered me to come with him, grabbed my arm, and brought me here without an explanation."
"Remus!" Mrs. Weasley exclaimed. "You can't act that way for no good reason, taking Alison like that. What were you thinking?"
Before Lupin could speak, Alison inserted, "Exactly. Professor Lupin was clearly not thinking straight, especially with the full moon coming, so can I go back home now?"
Alison noticed Lupin's eye twitching, but before he could say anything, Professor McGonagall stood up and spoke. "Of course you can. I'll take you now. I don't know what he was thinking." She shot a glare at Lupin.
Alison turned towards the door so no one could see her smirking. Yes, she thought, I evaded their questioning of my lifestyle.
However, she thought that too soon. When she was almost out of the door, Lupin burst. "I found her in a subway, sitting on the ground, playing a flute for money. I asked her why she wasn't home in the orphanage, and her answer was, and I quote, 'The orphanage was never a home to me. I am home now.'"
Everyone froze. Alison looked around the table at all the horrified faces. Unsurprisingly, Snape's face was impassive as usual.
Professor McGonagall was the first recover from Lupin's outburst. "Is this true, Alison?" she questioned.
"It's a tin whistle, not a flute," Alison said grudgingly.
There was silence again while everyone was trying to process the information.
Sirius interrupted the silence by saying, "I thought you were living in a orphanage."
"And I thought you were on the run. It seems like we were both mistaken," Alison snapped, defensively crossing her arms over her chest.
"Where are you living if not in an orphanage, dear?" Mrs. Weasley asked kindly.
"Where most street kids live, on the streets of London," Alison replied curtly.
"You can't live there!" Mrs. Weasley exclaimed horrified.
"It's not safe, and you don't get regular meals," Mrs. Weasley protested.
Alison shot back, "For your information, those are two reasons I left the orphanage for the streets. I don't get beat up on the streets like I did in the orphanage, and I can get food outside of the orphanage easier than inside of it."
The adults looked at her in shock. "What do you mean?" asked Lupin.
Alison reluctantly elaborated, "In the orphanage, the others would beat me up if I showed my face at a meal, and the cook would try to whack me over the head with his rolling pin if he caught me taking food from the kitchen. Also, I would get beat up by most of the other orphans when they would find me."
"Why?" Lupin asked.
"I don't know. Because I'm a street kid? Because I don't worship and do everything the bullies say? Because I simply exist? I don't know how their idiotic brains work." In her rage, Alison barely noticed the guilty looks glances Sirius and Lupin shot to each other and to Snape.
"What about the person in charge at the orphanage? Wouldn't they stop them?" Mrs. Weasley asked trying to understand how such a thing could happen.
"Ms. Waxxwart?" Alison gave a hollow laugh. "She encourages them to act that way towards me 'cause to her I'm just a pain in her arse. I'm better off on the streets where I belong. As Ms. Waxxwart always told me, 'Once a street rat, always a street rat.'" Alison finished with a small smirk.
"What do you mean 'once a street rat'?" Sirius asked.
"Street rat is a term describing a kid living on the streets," Alison said rolling her eyes.
Sirius clarified, "I meant the 'once' part. Were you living on the streets before?"
Alison smirked proudly. "Yep. I lived on the streets from age five to age eight and for the past two summers including the current one."
"And you were in an orphanage before you were five?" Lupin asked to clarify.
"Ah-huh. And I got adopted at least five times from the first orphanage and returned that many times to the orphanage like a wrong package is returned to a store. People are just so kind," Alison said sarcastically.
"What about the second orphanage? How many times did you get adopted from there?" Mrs. Weasley asked.
Alison laughed without any humor. "Nobody gets adopted from Moredoor Orphanage. That's where they send the troubled kids: street kids, kids who can't get adopted, and kids who get in trouble with law but don't get sent to juvie. The majority of the kids who leave run away and are either caught and returned (and we get told how foolish they were to run away) or found dead (and we get told how foolish they were to run away). Another percentage of the kids who leave are taken to juvie for their crimes, or they leave when they are eighteen. Yet another percentage leave dead, either by being killed in the orphanage by someone or by suicide. During the second week I was at Moredoor Orphanage, a kid hung himself from the bars on the window over his bed, and I got his bed after his corpse was removed."
Alison smirked ironically at the appalled faces in the room. At last they were understanding why she couldn't return to the orphanage.
However, Snape wiped that smirk off her face. "What caused you to leave there, though?"
"I told you that the conditions there were horrible," Alison stubbornly said.
"And I heard you. I also know that you were spending most of your days there during the Hogwarts summers working and eating outside of the orphanage and only coming back to sleep at night. So the question is 'What caused you to leave the orphanage so abruptly during the first few weeks of summer vacation after your third year at Hogwarts?' It had to be something significant since otherwise you would have not returned at all to the orphanage after leaving school."
Alison had paled while he was speaking. She managed to force out, "How do you know so much?"
Ignoring the eyes on him, Snape answered, "After discovering that you were Alya Black, my goddaughter, late in your third year, I decided to assess your living conditions and how you were treated outside of school. However, when I arrived at Moredoor Orphanage at the end of July that year, I discovered that you were no longer living there. I then looked at your records which stated that you were still there; so I proceeded to question that horrid woman in charge."
Alison snorted despite herself. "I doubt that she just told you everything, since she most likely claimed I was still living at Moredoor Orphanage so she could get money from the government."
Snape's lips turned slightly up at her reaction, and he confessed, "Indeed, she did tell me that after she drank beer that contained a few drops of my modified Veritaserum."
"Severus!" Professor McGonagall exclaimed. "You can't just give Muggles Veritaserum."
"Why not?" Snape asked raising an eyebrow. "I didn't explicitly use magic on a Muggle. It didn't harm her. And it didn't reveal anything about our world since it was modified so that she wouldn't remember the conversation. Furthermore, she was the one to drink the beer; I didn't force her to."
Professor McGonagall merely huffed at his answer since she couldn't immediately think of a good counterargument.
"Nonetheless," Snape looked back at Alison, "you never answered my question. What caused you to leave the orphanage abruptly?"
Alison blanched and said stubbornly, "That's none of your concern."
Her response caused the others in the room to look at her curiously. Alison had answered all their other questions, even if some of her answers had been vague.
"Actually, it is my concern since I am your godfather."
"How come you never acted like it before?" Alison shot back.
"Stop attempting to evade my question and answer it. What caused you to leave the orphanage abruptly?"
"You can't make me."
Snape raised an eyebrow. "I can make you answer. I happen to have a vial of Veritaserum in the pocket of my robes currently. Also, I can use Legilimency to search through your mind to find your memory of what caused you to leave. So you can either tell me or I can make you."
Professor McGonagall began to protest, "Severus, you-"
But Snape cut her off with a vicious glare.
Alison thought quickly. She would have to tell him either way. However, two required her to say them out loud for everyone to here, while one was in her and Snape's minds. The only problem with Legilimency was that he would have to search through her memories to find the one he wanted.
"Well?" Snape asked.
"If you used Legilimency, is there a way for you to only view that memory?"
Snape and the others were taken aback by her question. Snape asked her to clarify: "You would rather me look into your mind and view all the details instead of you saying it out loud?"
Alison solemnly nodded. "Yes, it's easier for me to show you then to say it out loud for everyone to hear. I trust you to keep most of the details to yourself and help me to tell the others if they need to know. So, is there a way?"
Snape composed himself before saying, "You would just need to concentrate on the beginning of that memory and look into my eyes while doing it. Don't put up any resistance."
"Ok," Alison said nervously. "Should we do it now?"
"Yes. Ready. Concentrate. Look at me when you are ready."
Alison concentrated on the beginning of her memory and then looked up into the dark eyes of her godfather.
"Legilimens," Snape said, and he and Alison began to view the memory that caused her departure from Moredoor Orphanage.
Alison was standing alone in a room that contained multiple beds. She was looking through her backpack on the bed under a barred window. Alison was focused on searching for something, so she didn't notice that she wasn't alone in the room anymore until a large mass grabbed her wrists and put them over her head while slamming her back and head into the stone wall.
When Alison opened her eyes through the pulsing pain in her head, she was able to identify her attacker.
"What the hell do you think you're doing, Brent?" Alison spat at him.
Brent put his head so close to hers that she could smell the alcohol in his breath and replied, "What does it look like?" He looked appreciatively up and down her body. "I'm gonna enjoy how much you've grown up when you were away."
Panic filled the rest of Alison's head that wasn't already in pain. She started to struggle to get away from him. But her struggling was in vain; Brent was stronger than her so he was able to keep his tight grip on her wrists.
Brent chuckled, "Don't be like that." Brent used his free hand to rip open the button down shirt Alison was wearing. Brent glared at the camisole Alison was wearing under the shirt. He growled, "Why so many layers?"
When his hand moved to remove that, Alison's body moved on instinct. She kneed him in the groin then stomped on his foot in the same movement. Brent's grip on her wrists loosened, so Alison was able to rip free. She elbowed him in the neck and then punched him in the face. Brent fell to the ground. Alison immediately kicked him, and his head hit the metal frame of a bed.
Without checking on Brent's condition, Alison snatched her backpack and ran. She ran out of the room, through the hallway, and into a small room filled with books. Without pausing, she jumped through the open window and fled into the streets of London, never looking back.
In 12 Grimmauld Place:
Snape was furious; anyone could see that. Alison wasn't meeting anyone's eyes. The others in the room were wondering what happened in her memory.
"Was that the only time he did that?" snarled Snape.
Alison answered, "To me, yes. To others, I don't know but it's likely."
"I'm going to kill him."
The others were shocked by Snape's declaration and his rage. Snape's usually impassive, so it was extremely odd to see him so enraged. Alison's response also shocked them.
"Okay, just don't get caught."
"I never do."
Snape and Alison exchanged such dark smirks that the others were unsettled.
"Um, let's not kill anyone," Lupin said, but he was ignored.
"Who is getting killed?" Sirius asked.
"Nobody is getting killed!" Mrs. Weasley and Professor McGonagall exclaimed at the same time.
"A little bastard who deserves it is going to die. And yes he is." Snape replied.
"May we hear the reason why this person deserves to die?" asked Lupin.
Snape snarled, "That bastard attempted to rape my goddaughter."
The others gasped, horrified.
Alison, trying to not be in the spotlight again, feebly protested: "It wasn't attempted rape."
Snape growled, "He had you pinned against a wall and was trying to remove your clothes without your permission to 'enjoy' you. I call that attempted rape."
Mrs. Weasley looked as if she was about to burst into tears, while everyone other than Alison looked as if they wanted to tear Brent to shreds. In their anger, they started proclaim what they will do to Brent when they find him. Mrs. Weasley got out of her seat with the intention of comforting Alison with a hug and saying, "Oh, poor dear…"
Alison had enough. She stood up and shouted, "Shut up!" Everyone froze. "I don't care what you do to him, but I don't want your pity. In fact, I don't want to hear about it at all. That's in the past, and I don't want any reminders of it. Now if someone could please tell me where we are or just point me in the direction of London, I'll be out of here. I just want to go home to the streets of London."
That shook the adults out of their current states.
"But you can't go back to the streets! They're not a suitable place to live," Mrs. Weasley protested.
"It's not polite to criticize people's homes, no matter how humble, Mrs. Weasley," Alison deadpanned, making Mrs. Weasley blush. Interrupting other protests, Alison quickly continued, "And I have places to be. I'm suppose to meet some friends somewhere before dark, so I better get going." Alison started walking to the door.
Quicker than she thought was possible, Sirius was next to her, blocking her way out. He questioned her, "Who are these friends that you never mentioned before and where do you need to go before dark?"
Alison sighed loudly to convey her annoyance. "My friends are other street kids. We're in the same street kids society, and I need to get to headquarters before dark so I can go to sleep in a safe environment."
"So you're meeting up other homeless kids in this society of homeless kids to go to your headquarters, which is probably in some abandoned shack or alley," mocked Sirius.
Alison straightened herself and scowled at Sirius. "First of all, we're not homeless. Homeless is implying that we don't have homes, but we do. Second of all, our headquarters is not in any of those places and is probably cleaner than this place and definitely has more love to it than here." Alison pointedly looked at a heap of dust on a shelf in the room. "Third of all, you never, and I mean never, insult our society. We are a secret society which protects its members, teaches them how to protect themselves, and helps them survive in a world where they are surrounded by people who scorn them for what they are, street kids. They have gone through things in their short lives that you can't even imagine. So, shut…your…mouth." Alison's glare made Sirius take a step away from her.
Alison turned towards everyone else, and with a short wave she said, "Good-bye."
Before she could make it out the door, Mrs. Weasley exclaimed, "Wait!"
Alison made a show of her exasperation by sighing loudly, rolling her eyes, and turning around slowly. "Yes?" she drawled.
"The twins, Ron, Ginny, and Hermione are upstairs, and I'm sure they would love to spend some time and visit with you; so maybe you could stay here with us for several days or weeks. What do you say?"
Mrs. Weasley sounded proud of her idea to prevent Alison from returning to her life on the streets of London. However, Alison saw right through her plan and knew how to counter it and bring up another issue.
"I would love too, and I'm sure Harry would also. Has Harry been by to visit yet? How is he doing?" Alison smiled innocently at the looks exchanged by the adults.
"Harry's still at his aunt and uncle's house, and he's doing fine," Lupin answered.
Alison frowned. "Liar. Harry's not 'fine', and you would know that if you bothered to correspond with him."
The adults also frowned. Lupin asked, "What do you mean?" At the same time, Sirius asked, "How would you know?"
"Harry feels so lonely and abandoned by his friends that he owled me a couple weeks ago. As you might have known, I had told everyone to only owl me if they absolutely need to communicate with me since I'm always surrounded by Muggles. In his letter, he asked me if I knew anything about what's happening in the wizarding world or about what the Weasleys and Hermione are up to since no one is telling him anything. I replied that I didn't know, and I asked for his phone number so I could talk to him. He sent back his phone number immediately, and I called him from a payphone. I had to threaten his uncle so I could talk to him, but…whatever." Alison shrugged.
Alison continued, "He then poured out all his woes to me, and I decided to visit him so I could provide some comfort since no one else was." She glared at the others.
"You did what?" Professor McGonagall asked.
"I visited Harry. He looked horrible. Since he's been bottling up everything, he ended up telling me about how he only has his owl to talk to since everyone else he contacted told him that they couldn't talk and how he has nothing to take his mind off the horrors that he experienced. Through an encounter with his bully of a cousin (which involved me punching him), I learned that Harry has been having nightmares about his parents, Cedric, and You-Know-Who and that his relatives either tease him about it or tell him to shut up. In the end, I went to his aunt and uncle's house to introduce myself as Harry's murderous godfather's niece, and I kindly told them to treat Harry better.
"I don't know why the people who spend so much time arguing with a girl about her lifestyle can't spend even a fraction of that time with Harry, someone who everyone in this room cares about. Except Professor Snape. But that's not the point. You're harming Harry's wellbeing by keeping him at his aunt and uncle's house without any real communication."
Before anyone could comment about her rant, Alison stated, "Owl me when Harry arrives here, and only then will I come back to visit. See you then."
Alison swiftly escaped the house. By using the directions she received from several random Muggles, she was able to find her way back to the part of London she was familiar with and back home.
Thank you all for reading! Check out my story The Story of an Orphan: First Year if you haven't already!
Please review! I would love to hear about any comments, questions, concerns, or story ideas regarding this story that you have!