Questions and Answers
Disclaimer: Gertrude "Danger" Granger, Aletha Freeman, Meghan Black and various other characters, nicknames, dialogue, prophecy styles, et cetera, you may not recognize belong to whydoyouneedtoknow's Dangerverse with direct permission from the author to use them. Most other characters belong to JK Rowling. Only plot belongs to me.
Author's Note: This is another one of those reader-adored long chapters.
"So you're my Mum?" Harry asked Lily.
"Yes, sweetheart, I am," Lily said, smiling.
It had been half-an-hour since they left Number Four Privet Drive. Since then, the large group had split off. Aletha, Meghan, Danger and Neenie, after packing up the few things Danger and Neenie had brought over to Mrs. Figg's house, they had gone back to Danger's house, where the rest of the group, including Albus, would join them shortly for conversation and an early lunch.
Lily, James, Harry, Remus, and Albus had returned to Mrs. Figg's house, where Albus Floo-called Madam Pomfrey, and asked if she could come to Mrs. Figg's house. After some debate and thought, the nurse accepted. Now Albus, Madam Pomfrey, Lily and Harry were sitting in Mrs. Figg's spare bedroom. Harry was on the bed, nearly naked except for underwear, though they were a bit big for him. Madam Pomfrey was looking him over, while Lily and Albus stood back, watching over the scene.
Harry was bored, and had decided to ask questions.
"Can you do magic?" he asked.
"Yes, I can," Lily said.
"Can I do magic?" Harry asked.
"Er," Lily said, "Let's leave that one for later."
"Why did I live with Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon?" Harry asked, "They said I lived with them because you were gone, but you're not gone…"
You have to ask the hard questions, don't you, Harry?Lily thought with a sigh.
"How about we leave these questions until later?" she suggested, "And let Madam Pomfrey look over you?"
"That old man there said I could ask all the questions I wanted," Harry said.
Well, he got me there. Merlin, he takes after James!
"Harry, it is not nice to call someone old," Lily said, smiling, "Call him Professor Dumbledore."
"Pro… proof…" Harry attempted.
"Can you call me Albus?" Albus asked.
Harry nodded. "Sorry I said you're old, Albus."
"I am old," Albus said, his eyes twinkling, "I am a little over one-hundred and forty."
"That's old!" Harry gasped.
Lily giggled. Definitely like James. I should have known… definite makings of a future Marauder. I'd say unless we do something about that early on, but James, possibly Remus, and definitely Sirius if – when we get him out of Azkaban, will all have something to say about that. Maybe the little one inside me can take after me… oh, Merlin, when am I going to tell everyone about that? Seems like years since I found out, and it hasn't even been twenty-four hours!
A sad sigh from Madam Pomfrey broke Lily away from her thoughts. The nurse walked over to Lily and Albus, with a grave look on her face.
"The signs of neglect and cruelty are evident," she said, "His current weight is that of a child at least a year younger than him. I saw faded bruises, possibly gripping-hands formations on his arms and shoulders, as if he was forcibly dragged by somebody. There are other bruises, but most are common with little children his age falling. His glasses, as you might have seen, were taped together, and they're rather cheap. I'm surprised he can see with them. And…"
She frowned, wrung her hands together nervously and looked away for a moment.
"Yes, Poppy?" Albus asked.
"I did an X-Ray charm to check his bones," Pomfrey said, looking back at Lily, "He shows signs of a former, possibly recent, broken arm and wrist. Possibly left alone for a period of time before they were treated properly."
Lily's eyes welled up with tears. She looked away from Harry, so he wouldn't see her upset.
"Albus, Poppy, could you watch Harry for a few minutes?" she asked, "I must speak with James."
"Of course, Mrs. Potter," Pomfrey said.
"I'll be back soon, sweetheart," Lily said to Harry.
Harry smiled, and Lily blinked back tears and walked out of the room.
James, Remus and Mrs. Figg were currently in Mrs. Figg's back yard, waiting for word on Harry's condition, and in the middle of a discussion. Remus and Mrs. Figg were sitting at a small table, and James was pacing back and forth near them, as he had been doing for the past ten minutes.
"I am so angry!" James growled, "I swear if I had stayed in that house one more minute –"
"You'd what?" Remus asked, "Kill them?"
"No," James scoffed, and Remus looked relieved, "But only because death would be sweet relief for them. I was thinking more on the grounds of… Remus, do you recall reading about the Curse of the Righteous?"
"One of the Darkest Curses imaginable," Remus said. "It makes the victim's life a living hell. Every good thing they'd want or wish for, it would turn on them and give them the complete opposite. You're joking, James, you thought about using that? You do know what would have happened if they didn't deserve it?"
"Oh, they deserve it, Moony," James growled, "If anyone deserves it –"
James was interrupted by the slamming of Mrs. Figg's back door. He turned and saw Lily storming toward them in a huff.
"Mrs. Figg, do you have anything you want destroyed?" she asked.
"Well, let's see," Mrs. Figg said, "That scarecrow by the garden has been getting on my nerves –"
A moment later, said scarecrow was up in flames.
"That bad?" Remus asked, as he doused the scarecrow with an Aguamenti Charm.
"Harry's severely underweight," Lily said, "He shows signs of someone dragging him forcedly through the house, bruises on his arms and shoulders, and elsewhere, though those could be blamed for childhood clumsiness. And there are also signs of –"
Lily broke down in tears and James walked over to her and embraced her.
"As far as I can tell," Lily said, into James' shoulder, "he broke an arm and wrist recently, and they didn't immediately take him to the emergency room."
"Think they don't deserve it now, Moony?" James asked, "You're welcome to come along. It's a two-person curse. Though, it usually takes a man and a woman."
"I'm not cursing anyone, Prongs," Remus insisted.
"What are you talking about?" Lily asked, as she backed away and looked from Remus to James.
"James wants to do the Curse of the Righteous on your dear sister," Remus said.
"As much as that sounds like a good idea," Lily said, "We're not doing it."
"Why the hell not, Lily?" James demanded, "After what they did to Harry, you would not perform the curse –?"
"They may deserve something for what they did to Harry," Lily said, "But they are Muggles, James."
"Albus didn't care about that when he turned Dursley into a hog!" James snorted.
"He did what?" Remus asked.
"You should have seen it, Moony," James said, grinning, "It was priceless –"
"James!" Lily hissed, and James turned back to her, "No. We are already going to have enough trouble as it is, between hiding again, and all this business we're planning with Sirius, and not to mention –" she cleared her throat and shook her head. "After today, we'll have nothing to do with my sister or her family. Harry never has to see them again, okay? It is better we just move on."
James groaned under his breath. He was outmatched, two-to-one, and Aletha probably wouldn't want anything to do with it either.
"Fine," he said, "Whatever you want."
"Good," Lily said, "Harry's already going to have a hard time. I predict it is going to be rather rough for him in the near future, but we are his parents, and we'll help him get through it. Now, come on… we're due to have lunch with Aletha's friend shortly. What's her name, Remus?"
"Gertrude Granger," Remus said, "But everyone calls her Danger."
"It's her parents that were murdered by Death Eaters on Halloween, yes?" James, asked, and when Remus nodded sadly, "So she's Muggle?"
"No," Albus' voice said, as he appeared at the door – Harry was still inside with Madam Pomfrey, "Her sister was born a Muggleborn witch. Danger is also a Muggleborn witch however she obtained her magic just this past Halloween."
"I was right then," Remus said, "Latent magic. Albus, would you say she has additional abilities then, given she is an – err – victim of latent magic?"
"It is very probable," Albus said, "Some witches and wizards like her have anywhere from one to three additional abilities – ranging from Metamorphmagic to prophesying, with many in between. Why do you ask?"
"Apparently she's a True Dreamer," Remus said, "In fact, according to her, all of us present, aside from Mrs. Figg, have had starring roles in her recent dreams."
"Us?" Lily asked, "Did she say what she dreamed about?"
Remus shrugged. "She dreamed of me in my wolf-form on Thursday, apparently. Night of the full moon. She saw a large wolf in a stone basement with a steel door."
"True Dreamers have the ability to dream of the past, present and future," Albus said, "However, not all of her dreams of the future are cemented in stone. Futures can change. She could have seen many things."
"She said she watched James die," Remus said.
James raised his eyebrows. "Really?"
"She pointed at you and said 'I saw that man die'," Remus said.
"Well, how about we go meet our new friend?" James asked. "I think I'd like to know exactly what she saw."
Meanwhile, Danger and Aletha were in the kitchen of the Granger house. They were currently working together on the early preparations of a peanut butter pasta dish. Danger had decided it would be better for lunch, now that there were guests coming over. Neenie and Meghan were playing in a playpen on the other side of the room.
Neenie hasn't been in a playpen since she was two. But when I retrieved it for Meghan, she joined the little girl like she had been in it yesterday. I do believe she has made another friend.
"Ma!" Meghan said, from the playpen.
"Mummy's right here, sweetie, see?" Aletha said, waving to Meghan, "Play with Neenie, okay?" Aletha smiled at her daughter, and looked back at Danger. "She must adore Neenie already. She doesn't say much yet, a few words, one or two at a time. But she is so shy around others, especially children, that she never says much to them."
"Neenie's very easy to get along with," Danger said, smiling, "She and Harry were fast friends, and Harry hadn't even been two years old then…"
Oh bother. It just hit me. Harry's leaving Privet Drive today. Neenie won't be very happy about that. Although maybe we can keep in touch, especially since I'm reuniting with Aletha, and she seems good friends with Harry's parents. Perhaps I should get to know them. Wouldn't mind getting to know Remus as well…
"So who is Meghan's father?" Danger asked.
"His name is Sirius Black," Aletha said, "Also known as the love of my life, among other things."
"Sirius," Danger said, as her mind went back to a man in a dream, "He wouldn't have long black hair, grey eyes, and a ruggedly handsome, if not a rebellious look about him?"
"You've met him?" Aletha asked, "Wait – your dreams?"
"He was one of Remus' best men in the wedding dream," Danger said, "He was also in another dream I had, but I'd rather not tell it more than once. And at least three of your friends here today also co-starred in that dream. I think they'd like to hear it."
"The dream where you saw Harry's father die," Aletha said; it was not a question.
"Right," Danger said, then raised her eyebrows, "Why are you so interested in my dreams? Even if my wedding dream was real, Neenie, Harry, and who I believe to be Meghan were all in their teens. That's a long time to wait and it isn't like I'm really going to –"
Danger stopped talking when Aletha looked at her.
"Wait for what?" Aletha asked.
"Nothing," Danger said, "Never mind…"
"Gertrude 'Danger' Granger, do you fancy Remus?" Aletha asked, with a grin.
"What?!" Danger laughed. "No, I just met him!"
Oh my goodness, am I that obvious? If I am, then I need to work on that by the time Remus comes over.
"Love at first sight exists, you know," Aletha said, "It didn't happen to me, of course. I hated Sirius for six years."
"Okay, he's quite handsome," Danger admitted, "Almost too handsome, he probably is at the very least seeing somebody, if not married –"
"Very nice way of asking without making it too obvious," Aletha said, sarcastically; Danger scoffed, and Aletha added "He's single, by the way."
"Him?" Danger asked, "Nobody has claimed him yet?"
"He's shy," Aletha said, "He has a – well – let's say – his personality clashes with most girls."
"He seems very nice to me," Danger said.
"Oh, he is a perfect gentleman," Aletha said, "He's not like a pervert, or a creep, or anything. Actually he's the most saneone out of his friends. But he – well – it's not my secret to tell."
"That's rather mysterious," Danger said, grinning.
"If you want to chase him, go for it," Aletha said, "He's just very shy, but he's worth it."
"You sound like you fancied him at one point," Danger said, smiling mischievously.
"Ha!" Aletha laughed, "No. Not counting the disagreements we've had recently, and are only just getting over them, I've only ever seen Remus as a friend. Sirius is the one for me."
"So where is this love of your life?" Danger asked.
"Prison," Aletha said, with the same tone as if she was discussing the weather.
"What?!" Danger yelped.
"He's completely innocent of his crimes," Aletha said, "I know that for a fact. In fact, if everything works out, by this time next month, he'll be back in my arms."
"Bet he'll love to see you again," Danger said, "And Meghan."
"He doesn't know about her," Aletha said, as she looked back at her daughter, "I found out I was pregnant a few weeks after he was arrested."
"Oh my," Danger said, "What is this crime he was arrested for?"
Aletha cringed visibly. "We'll save that one for this long discussion we're going to have with my friends."
Danger raised her eyebrows. Her mind went back to the dreams she had that included Sirius. Including one where he was on a street that exploded. And something to do with a rat…
Something tells me I'm in for an interesting conversation…
Harry was currently hand-in-hand with his mother, as they followed James, Remus and Aletha up the street toward the Granger house.
"Mum," Harry said, testing it out for the first time, "Can I ask a question?"
"Another one?" Lily asked.
Harry nodded. "Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon said you were gone and not coming back. They said that you died. But you're here. Does that mean that Neenie's parents will come back?"
"Oh, I'm sorry, Harry," Lily said, "Me and your Dad are here because, well… it is kind of hard to explain. We didn't die, you see. We were just… gone for three years."
"But Davie and Rosie did," Harry said, frowning.
"Yeah," Lily said.
"Neenie's not going to be happy," Harry said.
"I'm sure her sister will help her," Lily said.
"Are we going away from here?" Harry asked, "And not coming back?"
"If you want to, yeah," Lily said.
"I still want to see Danger and Neenie," Harry said.
"I think we can work that out," Lily said.
"Okay," Harry said.
A couple minutes later, the small group arrived at the front door of the Granger home. When Albus knocked on the door, it opened a moment later, and Danger stood there.
"Come on in," she said, "Lunch is almost ready. You can go in the sitting room. I think there is enough room for everyone."
"Danger!" Harry said, hugging her around the legs, when he approached her.
"Hi, Greeneyes," Danger said, "We're going to have one of your favorites for lunch!"
"Peanut butter pasta?" Harry asked, "Petunia never makes that!"
"That is because I've never given her the recipe," Danger said, "And yes, that is exactly what we're having. Now go on. Neenie is playing with Meghan in the sitting room. I'm sure she wants to see you."
Harry nodded energetically, and ran inside toward the sitting room, as his parents introduced themselves to Danger.
Ten minutes later, almost everyone was gathered in the sitting room with a plate of pasta and salad. Harry and Neenie were eating in the kitchen, in full view of Lily and Danger, and Meghan was in Neenie's old high-chair situated near Aletha. Danger was getting acquainted with everyone.
"- and last but most certainly not least," Albus said, "I'm Albus, though we met briefly on Halloween night."
"I remember," Danger said, with a frown.
Albus looked at everyone else. "I was here checking up on Harry. I had gotten news of trouble in the area, and was most relieved to find that it was not at Harry's house. I mean no offense by that, Miss Granger. I feel a deep regret for your loss."
"Thank you, sir," Danger said, "I'm not sure how much you could have done beforehand."
"I'm afraid I could have done a lot more to prevent the events of that night from ever happening," Albus said.
"Really?" Danger asked.
"Yes," Albus said, "You recall seeing that odd shape in lights just before you found your parents?"
"I thought it was a Halloween firework of some kind," Danger said.
Albus looked around at the other adults, all of whom looked gravely into their meals.
"It was not," he said, his attention back on Danger, "You would most likely refer to it as a gang sign."
"Never seen a gang sign like that," Danger said, with a snort, "It was almost as if it was done with –" Danger inhaled and shook her head. "But that would be insane. Unless – but no -"
"Indulge us, Miss Granger?" Albus asked.
"This is going to sound insane," Danger said, "But… does magic exist, sir? I dreamed of magic. Of impossible things that couldn't be done without magic. I dreamed of -" She paused and her eyes went in Remus' direction, then James and Lily's, "—but they're here in front of me. And my parents – the looks on their faces –"
"Like they were frightened to death," Albus said.
"Yes, sir," Danger said.
"What I am about to tell you, Miss Granger," Albus said, "Over half of the world's population does not know. There have been extreme measures gone to keep it a secret. You must not tell anyone unless they mention it first."
"Okay," Danger said.
"Magic exists," Albus said, "True magic… witches, wizards, charms, spells, hexes, and many, many other things you could only imagine in your dizziest day-dreams and fantasy stories… exist."
"Oh, thank God," Danger breathed. "There was no other explanation." She cleared her throat. "So… what? All of you here are… witches and wizards?"
"Yes," Albus said, "You may not believe it, but so are you, and…" Albus looked toward Harry and Neenie, both of whom were lost in their own little conversation and oblivious to the discussion in the sitting room, "So are those two dear children in your kitchen."
"M-me?" Danger asked, "Neenie? Sir, I am nearly twenty-five years old. Surely, you think I would have known before now?"
"You are a very special case, Danger," Albus said, "You have what we call a case of latent magic. It comes when a great shock has come to someone. Not just everyone, but those who have magic deep in their soul."
"But my parents, none of my family are - were witches or wizards," Danger said, "My sister – maybe."
"You and your sister are what we call Muggleborn witches," Albus said, "Muggles are what we refer to non-magic folk as. Lily and Aletha are also Muggleborn."
Danger looked at Aletha, then Lily.
"I discovered it on my eleventh birthday," Aletha said, "The school where Albus is Headmaster at, where we all went to learn magic, one of the Professors there came and told me and my parents I was a witch."
"The same would have happened with Hermione," Albus said, "had these events never occurred. Her name has been in a special book at my school ever since she was born, as has Harry's, young Meghan's, and everyone in this room – aside from you, Miss Granger."
"Why me?" Danger asked, "Why now?"
"Sometimes these things happen," Albus said. "As for how yours was unlocked, you discovered your parents' bodies. A great shock."
"Were my parents killed by… one of your kind?" Danger asked.
"I'm afraid so," Albus said, and Danger inhaled.
"Was it a man with a thin, almost skeletal body and red eyes?" she asked.
Albus raised his eyebrows and looked around at Aletha, James, Lily and Remus, whose eyes were all wide.
"I very much hope not," Albus said, as he turned back to Danger, "He disappeared three years ago Halloween. I do fear he will return, but I do hope he has not returned this soon.Tell me, how do you know of his appearance?"
I have a feeling I know this answer, of course. It just seems the easiest way to get her to talk about her dreams.
"I-I dreamed of him," Danger stammered, "H-he appeared twice in my dream. I also saw you, sir, and James and Lily. It was during the first of these kinds of dreams I had, when I collapsed after seeing my parents…"
"Can you tell us about these dreams?" Albus asked.
Danger nodded. "The first part, I saw you, and James and Lily. You were in a house, talking about someone needing to keep a secret?"
"A Secret-Keeper," Albus said.
"Yes," Danger said, "And then before you left the house, you -"
Danger's eyes traveled and pointed her finger at something in Albus' direction. Albus found that part of his wand was sticking out of his Muggle-style pants.
"My wand?" Albus asked.
"Wand, okay," Danger said, "You pointed your wand at James and Lily, and said something I couldn't hear, and then I saw a white flash. And I saw James and Lily again, but this time they were with a man – Aletha told me earlier his name was Sirius. James asked him to be the Secret Keeper, but he refused."
"He said he was too obvious of a choice," James said.
"Exactly," Danger said, "Then it showed you and Lily, and another person. He was kind of short and mousy-haired? He stammered a lot."
"Peter," James muttered, and Lily and Remus frowned, "Wormtail."
"Yes!" Danger said, "I heard both of those names. He agreed to be your Secret-Keeper. And then… I saw Peter again. He was in this really dark room. And that pale, red-eyed man was there. "Peter told this man the plan had worked. He did what the man wanted him to do."
Albus looked at James, Lily, Remus and Aletha, all of whom had different expressions on their faces – anger, shock, sadness.
"Then I was back in the house," Danger said, "And I saw James again. I heard your voice, Lily, asking him to take something from the oven."
"Pork chops?" James asked, as a frown crossed his face; Albus realized James knew what Danger was about to say.
"Yeah," Danger said, frowning, "And you moved into the hallway, and the door burst open, and that pale man stood there with his – his wand. You warned Lily, told her to run with Harry. And the man said something, and a green light appeared, and James, you fell. The man walked by you, and a golden light appeared soon after, and your body vanished."
"I was right," Albus whispered, "That is how the spell worked."
"Then the scene changed," Danger continued, as if Albus hadn't spoken, "And I was standing in a road. Peter was there. People were around on the sides of the road. Then Sirius came. Wormtail yelled at Sirius, he said something like… 'James and Lily, you betrayed them!' and Sirius called him a liar. Then… Peter cut off his finger, and said a spell."
"He cut off his finger?" Remus asked, as his face glowed in realization.
"Yes," Danger said, "Next thing, I knew, the street exploded. A huge hole, bodies everywhere. Then Peter vanished, only his clothes were left, and next thing I saw was a rat running away toward a sewer. Last thing I remember, is Sirius screaming and crying. Last thing he said was… your name Aletha."
Albus sat there, stunned, as he looked around at everyone. Aletha had tears rolling down her face. Lily looked on the verge of tears. Remus and James looked murderous.
"Wormtail is alive," James said.
"What?" Danger asked, "Are you saying that… what I dreamed is real?"
"We can be sure of four of those events happening," Albus said, "And there are all kinds of rumors of that last event happening, only… the stories are so mixed up."
"Sirius," Aletha sniffled, "that last scene you described, Danger, that is partially what Sirius was framed for. For the murders of those Muggles and Peter."
"Except Peter's alive," Remus said, "Peter was the rat."
"Excuse me? Did you just say Peter's a rat?" Danger asked.
"In more ways than one," James said, a light grin of wry humor on his face, "He's a wizard that can turn into an animal, an Animagus."
"So you're saying everything in that dream happened in the past?" Danger asked.
"Roughly in the span of eleven months," Albus said, "Three years ago."
"Then - that wolf?" Danger asked, "The wedding?"
"The wolf was probably something happening at that current time," Albus said, with a glance at Remus, who was looking at his meal, "The wedding… who knows? Possibly in the future, possibly just a normal dream. True Dreamers, like yourself -" Danger's eyebrows raised at the term, "— can see the future in their dreams – only… futures can change. They are not set on a solid path. Any number of those people you saw could be dead by the time that happened, if it happens."
"If that pale man came to kill you," Danger asked, looking at James and Lily, "then how are you alive? He looked like he could kill with a single – spell?"
"There is, indeed, one spell that can kill you immediately," Albus said, "The spell you saw me doing, protected James and Lily. It was rare and complicated, but it worked. They did not die, they only… time-traveled three years in the future."
Danger blinked, but did not ask him to explain.
"Harry survived because Lily jumped in front of the spell to save her son," Albus said, "She thought she'd die, but she did it anyway to save Harry. This protected Harry, a protection of old magic, of pure magic, from dying that night. The spell rebounded on its attacker, and Harry wound up with the scar on his forehead."
"Why would someone attack a baby?" Danger asked.
Albus sighed. "That is a much more complicated conversation. Quite personal as well. James and Lily know why, and if they wish to tell you sometime, they can. Just know that this man attacked Harry, because he felt threatened by him – or rather what he might do if he survived in the future."
"Oh, so he's another John Connor," Danger said.
"Who?" James, Lily and Remus asked in unison.
"Very recent Muggle reference," Aletha said, "I'll explain later. In a way, you're correct Danger. Without the machines and nobody's time-traveled to the past in this case."
"Any more questions?" Albus asked.
Danger had many more questions, mostly to do with the wizarding world. This included creatures she only heard of in fantasy books, including vampires and werewolves (Remus looked uncomfortable, of course) during this part of the discussion. Danger was quite fascinated by the fact that the wizarding world existed around her, but she couldn't see it – Albus informed her that she probably would be able to see buildings such as the Leaky Cauldron now that she was knowledgeable of it.
The conversation was long and interesting enough that it lasted throughout lunch.
After lunch, Danger decided she needed to be a good hostess, and do the dishes, so this left Remus, James, Lily, Aletha and Albus in the sitting room, discussing things and watching the three children play in the middle of the floor. Albus was talking to Lily and Aletha, while Remus talked to James.
"Would you have ever guessed?" James asked, "What she described, I mean? That Peter could cut off his own finger, and escape that scene in his rat form?"
"Prongs for three years I never thought that Wormtail was capable of treachery," Remus said, "I thought it was Sirius who betrayed us. So, no, I didn't guess that. But now, well, it seems possible. They only found his finger, which now that we know what happened, it explains everything."
"Makes you wonder what else our new friend, Miss Granger, might dream of," James said.
Remus' eyes found Danger at the kitchen sink, as his mind went to the conversation about the wedding she had dreamed of. James and Lily knew nothing of this dream yet, because it hadn't come up. They were more focused on the werewolf dream, or the dream describing the past events…
"Go talk to her," James said.
"What?" Remus asked.
"It is easy to tell you fancy her, Moony," James asked, nodding to Danger.
"No," Remus scoffed.
"Face it, Moony, you're attracted to Danger," James said, then snickered, "In more ways than one now."
Remus rolled his eyes. He stood up and walked into the kitchen. Danger turned when she heard his footsteps and smiled.
"Hello, there," she said.
"I've – err – come to see if you need any help with those," Remus said.
"Have you ever done dishes by hand instead of by wand?" Danger asked.
"Miss Granger, I live in a Muggle neighborhood fifteen minutes from here," Remus said, "I am also a half-blood."
"Wait, I remember that one," Danger said, "One pureblood parent, one Muggleborn? Like Harry and Meghan?"
"In my case, Muggle," Remus said, "Which is even more rare. My mother never had a trace of magic so she always believed in doing the dishes by hand, even when my father could charm them clean with a few waves of his wand. He grew up doing that very thing, but that is most snooty purebloods for you. Some of them, aren't so snooty. James and Sirius are two of the non-snooty types. James' parents were also in that category. Sirius' on the other hand… the complete opposite of James' parents. Don't get me started on them, nor Sirius on that matter."
"Don't see how with Sirius," Danger said, "Since he's in prison."
"If everything goes well, he'll be out by the end of the month," Remus said.
"Aletha said that," Danger said, "How? I mean, okay, he's innocent. Will James and Lily make the high-and-mighty wizard types see he's innocent?"
"Er, no," Remus said, "Everyone besides those you see in this house, and a couple of other people, all believe they're dead. Including the people associated with that pale man from your dreams. If James and Lily reveal themselves without proper planning, those bad people will come after them, and Harry, and their friends, and it will be four years ago all over again."
"So James and Lily will – what? – disguise themselves?" Danger asked.
"Only on the rare occasion they'll venture into public," Remus said, "They're going into hiding."
"With Harry?" Danger asked, frowning.
"And myself, Aletha and Meghan," Remus said, "And hopefully Sirius."
"So Neenie and I," Danger said, "We won't see you – Harry –"
"If we go into hiding the way we're planning," Remus said, "No."
Danger frowned and focused back on the dishes in the sink.
"So, how is Sirius going to be out of prison?" Danger asked.
"Guess," Remus said.
"Well, it isn't like you're going to stage a prison break," Danger said, with a snort.
Remus raised his eyebrows, and Danger looked back at him.
"Are you serious?" she asked.
Remus grinned. "No, but one of my best friends is."
Danger stared for a moment then laughed. "He gets that all the time?"
"He does," Remus affirmed.
"You're going to stage a break-out?" Danger asked.
"He's innocent, he doesn't deserve to be in prison," Remus said, "Aletha and his friends miss him, and his daughter he doesn't know needs him. Yes, we're going to stage a break-out."
"But… how?" Danger asked, "You could get in trouble!"
"Oh, we'll get in trouble, if they figure out it is us," Remus said, "which is why we're going into hiding. However, the guards won't even know we're there. The guards are a special sort… they're not human. They're a creature you've never heard of, not even in books. Animals are immune to them."
"Oh, I see," Danger said, "You're like Peter – an Ani-whats-it-called?"
"Animagus, no, I'm not," Remus said, "But I'm close."
Oh Merlin, can I really tell her? Can I really tell this woman whom I just met, no matter how attracted to her I may be, one of my deepest, darkest secrets? Remus sighed. Yes, yes, I think I really can.
"Danger," Remus said, "I'm a werewolf."
"Werewolf?" Danger asked.
"There wolf," Aletha said, behind them as she appeared in the kitchen, "There castle."
Danger snickered then sobered up. "No, really?"
"Yes, really," Remus said, "If you want to run away, if you want to kick me out of this house, away from you, and away from Neenie, you have my permission. I won't be mad at you."
"This is what you meant," Danger said, pointing to Aletha, "You said he had a secret, you said his personality clashed with most girls."
Remus blinked and shrugged. "She's right, and therefore, I can't hex her."
Aletha snickered. Danger made a gulping noise and turned back to the dishes.
"Give me the cue," Remus said, "I'll leave right this second."
"No," Danger said, then turned her head and looked at him, "Please don't."
"Don't?" Remus asked.
"I can see already you are no Lon Chaney-Wolf Man type monster," Danger said.
"I ama monster though, Danger," Remus said.
"This is what I meant by personality clashes," Aletha said, "He just can't see that - other than that one day a month - he's a gentle, kind-hearted loving creature."
"Thank you, Aletha," Remus said, annoyed.
"If you were a monster, Remus," Danger said, "You wouldn't be in this room having civilized conversation with me. You wouldn't have these friends who love you."
"You're not going to scare her away, Remus," Aletha said.
"Thank you, Aletha," Remus repeated, "You may go."
Aletha scoffed but retreated from the kitchen anyway.
"It was you," Danger said, as her eyes stared at Remus', "The wolf in the basement in my dream. The blue-eyed beauty."
"Beauty?" Remus asked, in disbelief.
Danger cleared her throat and returned to the dishes.
"I-I think I hear my friends calling," Remus said.
Danger nodded. Remus turned and walked toward the sitting room.
I am strongly attracted to that woman.
And that's not good. For either of us.
Danger scrubbed a spot off the plate, and looked over her shoulder at Remus' retreating figure.
I am definitely attracted to that man.
And he admitted to me that he was a werewolf. I am someone he has only just met, not two hours ago, and he told me his deepest darkest secret. It probably took ages for him to tell his friends. Wow, is that an ego boost or what?!
A werewolf. I am strongly attracted to a werewolf.
Well, Danger is my middle name.
Or nickname rather.
Chapter finished! Whew this chapter was a long one!
Sorry for those of you who wanted the Dursleys cursed. Lily's a bit of a goody-two-shoes, and if she wasn't involved, the curse might have happened. I understand it is her son these things happened to, but it is also her sister she still loves, even if the woman doesn't like her much.
Next chapter - some or all of this will possibly happen (or might be used in future chapters instead). Lily tells her secret she's been holding in, Harry has nightmares, a news-clipping leads to the gang discovering exactly where they're going to be hiding, and – if I decide enough time has passed by to make it plausible - Danger makes a decision that changes her and Hermione's lives forever! And much more!
Hope you liked this chapter!
Parts of this chapter - some of Remus and Danger's discussion near the end - come from "Living with Danger" by "whydoyouneedtoknow."
When I finished this chapter, it was December 31st, 2012, nearly nine-o-clock at evening, central US time, three hours from 2013, so Happy New Years everyone!