Hey guys! It's time for another chapter! I just wanted to take the time to thank soccergirl5500 and R-E-B-E-C for their reviews. They are greatly appreciated! Now, without further ado, here's chapter 3!

Harry Potter and the Success of Unity

Chapter 3 – Seeking Permission

Dinner that night was cheerier than previous nights at 12 Grimmauld Place. Hermione and Hallie's arrival seemed to have brought the occupants of Headquarters into higher spirits. Hallie was seated on Harry's right, with Ginny on his left. Across from her was Ron, and next to him was Hermione, then Fred across from Hallie, then Grorge at the head of the table. They made up one end of the table, while the adults comprised the other end. Jovial conversation was being passed around, everyone chatting animatedly about one thing or another.

Fred stood up, holding his glass, and clearing his throat loudly until he was sure he had the rapt attention of the entire table. "I would like to make a toast, on this fine night of…erm…what's today?" he asked, flushing.

"July 30th," Hallie replied.

"Oh, right," Fred said nonchalantly, then did a double take. "JULY 30TH!" he exclaimed, looking at Hallie in horror, his entire demeanor changing. "But that means…oh Merlin. Alright then, to a great rest of the summer. Now drink up, I have to go," he said, drinking quickly and disappearing with a *pop*.

Ron, staring at the spot where Fred had been seconds before, had a look of awe etched on his face. "What was that all about?" he asked, perplexed.

Hallie smiled, shaking her head in laughter, a blush creeping across her cheeks "He must have forgotten my birthday again. Typical Fred."

Ginny looked up. "Hallie, you didn't tell us it was your birthday today. Happy birthday."

"Oh no, my birthday's tomorrow," Hallie said.

This statement got Harry's attention. "Your birthday's tomorrow?" he asked incredulously. Hallie nodded. "How old are you turning?" he asked.

"Sixteen," Hallie said.

"But," Harry began, but Lupin cut him off.

"Enough of that, Hallie. It's just a coincidence, Harry. Now eat up."

Hallie rolled her eyes. "Yes, uncle Remus," she said.

Ron blanched. "Uncle Remus?" he asked.

Hallie laughed. "Oh, he's not really my uncle. I just call him that because I've known him forever. He's a friend of my parents, so I've been around him since I was little. He hates it when I call him uncle Remus though. Makes him feel old," she smirked, "but he's probably right. We really should finish eating and go to bed."

The meal ended a few minutes later. Looking dreary, everyone slowly trudged off to bed.

On the way to her room, Hallie paused outside of Harry's door. She was about to knock when Fred Apparated beside her.

"Well," he said, "I have officially redeemed myself for forgetting that your birthday is tomorrow by getting you the best present ever," he looked around, then realizing where Hallie was, said gently, "and if you go to sleep, the morning, and your birthday, will seem to come ten times faster, I promise."

Hallie smiled. "I know," she said, "but I feel like he needs to know tonight."

Fred nodded, "Yeah, I know. But that's not my permission to give. That's between you and Lupin, and Dumbledore. But what I can do is walk you to your room and tell you that everything's going to work out in the end."

Hallie smiled and nodded. Fred put his arm around her shoulders and guided her up to her room. "Everything's going to be alright, love. You remember that," he whispered, drawing her into his arms.

Hallie looked up at him. "Yeah," she said, "I know." She buried her head into his shoulder for a moment before Fred's lips found the top of her head. "You know you're the best friend I ever had?" she smiled.

"I figured as much," he said. "I think it's the twin thing." With those parting words, Hallie disappeared into her room. Fred smiled, shook his head, and continued upstairs.

Even with Fred's reassurance, Hallie couldn't sleep. She got out of bed and swiftly made her way down the stairs.

Harry, thinking along the same lines as Hallie, set off to the kitchen a few minutes later. When he got there, however, an apprehensive feeling came over him. The pantry door was open and someone was rummaging around inside. Harry, always on alert, paused for a moment, wand out, then sternly demanded, "who's there?"

A squeak could be heard, followed by a thud, then an audible "oops." Hallie emerged from the pantry, saying "Merlin, Harry. You gave me a fright!"

"Sorry," Harry said.

"Its alright," Hallie smiled. "Biscuit?" Harry nodded and took a few. "Hmm…" Hallie said, "We need something to drink," she stated, pulling a carton of milk from the pantry. Harry accepted the glass she poured for him gratefully, smiling his thanks and sobering quickly, his mind off into space and a saddened look in his eyes.

Noticing this, Hallie asked "What's wrong?"

Her words snapped Harry out of his trance. "Oh…nothing, its nothing." He dismissed it quickly, but Hallie had something else in mind.

"You sure about that? You seemed pretty out of it for a while there."

After a few moments, Harry let out a subdued sigh. "I just miss my parents sometimes is all," he finally allowed himself to say, still unsure whether to trust the brunette girl in front of him.

He looked over at Hallie. A sad smile was portrayed on her face. Suddenly, her eyes flickered from empathetic to determined. "Stay here," she said, "I'll be right back," and she walked briskly out of the room.

In her absence, Harry let his eyes wander around the room. They came to rest on the carton of milk in front of him, and the corner of his mouth twitched. Hallie certainly was an interesting girl.

The sound of approaching voices caused Harry to turn his eyes to the door. He could hear Hallie returning with, by the sound of it, Lupin.

"…Yes, I understand that, Hallie, but why now, of all times?" Lupin was saying.

"Look, I don't know, but I just know it's gotta be now, ok?" Hallie replied. At this moment, she flounced back into the kitchen, Lupin at her heels. "Back!" she said cheerily, hurling herself onto a stool set up across the island from Harry. Her seemingly cheery mood disappeared quickly, and she became serious, as Lupin stood beside her, a grim look on his face. Harry could sense something important was about to happen, so he inwardly braced himself for whatever was about to come.

"Now Harry," Hallie started in a subdued tone, "I won't lie to you. This will be hard for you to comprehend. All that I ask of you is that you listen to me with an open mind, and not talk until I'm through. Ok?" Harry nodded mutely, a signal for her to go on. "Alright," Hallie began, taking a deep breath. "When I was a baby, my parents made the difficult decision to send me away, because they were being hunted by Voldemort, and wanted me to be safe, whatever the cost."

Here Hallie paused for a moment, as if unsure how to go on in her story. Harry thought he could sense where she was headed, but chose to keep his thoughts hidden, forcing himself to listen to Hallie as she went on.

"Three days after they sent me away, my parents were killed. I guess you could say they sacrificed themselves for the greater good. So that a hero could rise and reduce Voldemort and all of his followers to dust when the right time came. The hero that was my brother. You, Harry."

Harry was flabbergasted, to be sure, but suddenly the little clues that had been building up all day flooded his brain. Of course, that was the only explanation for everything and everyone Hallie knew, the way she acted, and the brief moment in the afternoon when she met his eyes for the first time. "I-is that possible?" he asked, his astonishment plainly showing in his voice.

Hallie nodded. "We're twins," she said, "You're older by about ten minutes."

"I-erm-wow. This is a lot," Harry said. Suddenly, the reality of the situation hit him like a ton of bricks. He had a sister, and nobody had ever seen fit to tell him? Of all the times he had sat himself down in Dumbledore's office, of all the chats he'd had with Remus, and Sirius. For God sakes, he saw Hermione every day! Harry's jubilation suddenly came to a screeching halt, his voice hardening. "I'm going to bed now. G'night Lupin, Hallie." An instant later, Harry was gone.

Hallie looked after him, disappointment written all over her face. "Well, that went well," she said lightly, attempting humor and failing.

"Actually," Hallie jumped. Lupin had been so quiet throughout these last few moments that she had almost forgotten that he was there at all. "I don't think he knows what he's feeling right now. He was just given some very big news, and he needs to come to grips with. You have to give him time."

Hallie nodded mutely, taking a deep breath to steady herself. She would speak with Harry in the morning. Right now, she needed to go upstairs and wait for sleep to take her to the morning.