Believe

 

 

Chapter 1

 

The sunset was beautiful as it settled over the horizon of the Black Lake, where Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry stood.  The golden rays of the sun reflected in her amber colored eyes while her long, ravenous black hair flowed down her back in waves.  It was a Saturday evening, just warm enough to be outside without a jacket, even though she was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt.  Her legs were encased in a pair of blue Muggle jeans, her feet in combat boots.  The soft wind blew through her hair as she stood near the Whomping Willow tree, which wasn’t bothering her, though she was a good mile away from it or so.  She wasn’t that stupid after all.

 

“Em, it’s a ruddy Saturday!  Do you mind?  I’m trying to forget everything I’ve learned.” Ronald Weasley scowled as they walked down the path toward Hagrid’s house. 

 

“I’m sorry, but you heard Professor McGonagall, with N.E.W.T’s…”

 

Luna was half listening as she wandered dreamily behind the Golden Trio, straying off the path and towards the Whomping Willow tree, her attention there for some odd reason.  Her radish earrings swung with every step she took, her waist length curly blonde hair twisted up on her head and held in place with her wand.  “Hello.” She greeted upon seeing her best friend, suddenly reaching up and flapping her hands in the air for no reason. “Wrack spurt again.” Was her explanation for that sudden movement.

 

Turning around upon hearing that familiar voice of her best friend, Kiersten cracked a small smile and just nodded, not really understanding Luna’s ways.  “Hey Luna, what are you doing out here?” She asked softly, raising an eyebrow, thinking she was the only one in the castle who actually appreciated the sunset and view it possessed.

 

“Oh…nothing, just walking.” Luna replied, watching the Whomping Willow with a mild expression on her face.  “I was going to hunt for Fireflooms, but it’s too late, I’m sure they’ve all gone away now.” She smiled, staring out into the sunset before turning her head when she heard a rustle of wings in the distance.  “Isn’t that Hagrid’s Hippogriff?” She watched now as Harry Potter, Ronald Weasley, and Hermione Granger tried to coax the Hippogriff back into the pumpkin patch, but it wasn’t an easy task.

 

Raising an eyebrow, Kiersten just shook her head, shoving her hands in the front pockets of her sweatshirt, and looked back at the view before her.  “Why aren’t you helping them?” She asked, not looking back at Luna, too focused on the sunset as it descended into darkness while stars began peeking out one by one in the colored sky.

 

Luna looked mildly surprised by that.  “Should I?” She mused, watching still.  “Oh look, Harry has it under control.”

 

“BUCKBEAK, CALM DOWN!” Harry shouted, trying to restrain the overzealous animal.

 

Luna just smiled.

 

“I’m sorry!” Ron was wailing like a five-year-old.  “I didn’t mean to insult him!”

 

“Ronald isn’t very bright, is he?” Luna said in more of a statement than an actual question, that dreamy smile still on her lips.

 

“Obviously not or else he would know NOT to insult that huge beast.” Kiersten replied in a monotone voice, not really interested, though she couldn’t help, but glance at one Harry Potter.  He was cute with glasses that were round, shaping his emerald green eyes to perfection.  He’d been through a lot, though Kiersten never showed she was interested in him, especially since he was currently dating Cho Chang.

 

“That must hurt.” Luna commented in a tone of voice that suggested she was watching a television program.  Harry had just got his forearm slashed for his efforts though he was still trying to calm down Buckbeak while Hermione was urging Ron out of the enraged animal’s sight.  “He’s really brave.” She added, still in her usual airy tone.  “But not that smart either.”

 

“Obviously.” Kiersten murmured dryly, though she couldn’t keep the worry out of her tone, and raked a hand through her long, black locks when Buckbeak began slashing at him again.  “Come on, we’d better go help him before he ends up killed.” She stated and walked away from the shore, heading down the steep hill with Luna bouncing right behind her.  Hagrid had befriended her when she first came to Hogwarts, along with Luna, but other than that, hardly anyone spoke to her, not even the Golden Trio.

 

“Bloody Hell, Buckbeak!” Harry shouted angrily, angrier with Ron for being a stupid prat then with the Hippogriff.  “Calm down!” He grunted, falling backwards, another slash on his arm, blood seeping through his long sleeved shirt and Gryffindor robes.

 

Luna halted at his head, staring at Buckbeak.  “Are you alright?” She asked softly.

 

Harry didn’t answer because he wasn’t sure if she was talking to him or the animal.

 

Making sure she was out of harm’s way from the uncontrollable Buckbeak, Kiersten made her way over to Harry, seeing both of his arms were heavily slashed.  With a few mumbles under her breath, she bent down and pressed her hand over the wounds, one hand on each arm, blood flow coming to a halt, and when she pulled back her amber eyes stared directly into his.  “Better?” She asked with a small smile, knowing exactly what she just did.  Kiersten had healing powers that were growing stronger with every class she took in Hogwarts.

 

“Yeah, thanks.” Harry flashed a quick grin before getting to his feet, watching incredulously as Luna patted Buckbeak, calming him down.  He knew who Kiersten was, they were in the same house together, though he couldn’t recall ever really talking to her.  She was sort of a loner, as the Muggles loved calling it.  He offered another smile, feeling his arms.  “Much better…Kiersten is it?”

 

“Yeah, the one and only.” She responded dryly, looking over at Luna, and shook her head with a small smile crossing her lips.  “You’ve always had a keep way with dangerous animals.” She murmured, patting Buckbeak’s snout after letting him sniff her, and finally pulled back.  “Well, now that the excitement has ended, I’ll head back to the castle for dinner.” She waved at them before turning around and headed up the hill again just as Cho came walking out.

 

Luna smiled at Harry before simply walking off, wandering toward Hagrid’s garden.

 

Harry groaned when he spotted Cho coming.  For some reason, she had taken to following him around almost everywhere lately.  He was certain she would try to go into the loo with him if not for the others.  “Hi.” He greeted her with a weak smile.

 

“How was Kiersten?” Cho asked innocently enough, though anyone who really knew her could tell she was angry.

 

Harry was sensing a trap.

 

Kiersten was shaking with anger, not believing the audacity of Cho to accuse her of trying to steal Harry away from her!  Prior to her going down to greet him, she’d told Kiersten to back off, saying Harry was hers, and Kiersten just snorted in her face, telling her she had some serious growing up to do, which was true.  She did.  Not that he’d ever look her way because that was simply impossible with the fabulous, can do no wrong, famous Cho Chang around.  She watched as Cho embraced Harry from atop the hill and shook her head, wishing he could see the villain within that witch he dated. 

 

Hermione and Ron were behind Kiersten though they were immersed in their conversation.  “I’m telling you, Ron, she’s a witch!”

 

“Well of course she is!  She goes to school here don’t she?” Was his clueless reply.

 

Hermione let out a long suffering sigh.  “No, I mean she’s acting jealous and-”

 

“I thought that was normal?”

 

Hermione made a noise in the back of her throat, sounding both annoyed and disgusted.

 

Kiersten couldn’t help, but smile at Ron and Hermione, not believing how much they argued.  ‘Like an old married couple.’ She thought with a shake of her head and felt her stomach twist violently when Harry and Cho came walking up.  She looked directly into the view, the stars beginning to glisten one by one in the sky as the colors of pink, green, orange and blue swirled together in a beautiful aftermath of the sunset.

 

Harry looked uncomfortable as Cho clung to him, feeling the circulation in his arm going.  “Well, I reckon it’s about time for curfew.” He murmured, turning to look at her.  As always, he was pleased by her beauty, but it no longer gave him a warm feeling when he looked at her.  Now she was more like something pleasing to look at, like a painting.  Feeling shallow, Harry dutifully kissed her before loping by, catching up with Hermione and Ron.

 

“Stay away from Harry.” Cho hissed as she passed by Kiersten after getting her good night kiss from her boyfriend, her voice just low enough for Kiersten to hear, and ran off to catch up with her house, not wanting to lose points for missing curfew.

 

“Heartless bitch…” Kiersten hissed back in her direction, though Cho couldn’t hear her, and reluctantly headed back inside the castle.  Instead of going to the Great Hall, she opted for the Gryffindor Common Room, wanting to get her sleepwear on and sit in front of the fire, needing to study for Professor Snape’s test that following day.

 

The Golden Trio was already sitting in the Common Room, in their usual chairs by the fire.  Harry was covering his face with one hand, apparently trying not to commit suicide.  “She’s getting worse by the day.” He muttered.  “I swear, she seen me talking to Pavarti about homework McGonagall set and blew a bloody gasket!”

 

“I’d watch it; she’s looking to have you after graduation.” Hermione said, a pair of knitting needles flashing in the air before her.  At the blank look on Harry’s face, she sighed exasperatedly.  “She’s going to try to get you to propose!”

 

“Like HELL!”

 

Kiersten descended the stairs at that moment, holding her books against her chest, ready for some peace and quiet.  A shimmering, silver gown clung to her every curve and went down past her knees.  It was short sleeved and nobody could see through it.  Her hair was down and wet, fresh from a shower she’d taken.  Ignoring everyone else, she walked over to the couch and sat down, opening her book, and curled her legs beneath her butt as she started studying.

 

“Look mate, there’s only two things you can do about it.” Ron said sympathetically, though he was hiding his amusement by scratching the end of his long nose.  “You can either pop the question and be done with it,” He held up his hands when Harry scowled, pausing slightly.  “Here me out!  Or you can just end it.”

 

“Easier said than done.” Harry grumbled.  “I hinted at it last week and she didn’t react all that well.”

 

“Well, she’s not going too.” Hermione said reasonably.  “You’ll just have to summon that courage you’re so famous for and do it.”

 

“Can’t I just face Voldemort again?”

 

“Come on, Harry.  You can’t tell me the famous Potter is afraid of such a small girl such as Cho Chang?’ Neville piped in, holding Ginny Weasley in his lap, his arms wrapped around her waist.

 

“Neville, be nice!  Harry is scared just like YOU were when you were scared to ask me out.” Ginny shot back, defending Harry, smacking Neville’s arm and giggled when he turned beat red.

 

Kiersten couldn’t stop the smile from forming on her lips as she secretly listened into this conversation.  So Harry wasn’t happy with Princess Cho eh?  ‘He still won’t look my way.’ She thought sadly, though she hid it exceptionally well, and resumed with her studies.  Snape was a hard Professor, but she was bound and determined to get a perfect score on her test.

 

Harry looked at his friends, trying not to frown or look angry, instead opting for a grim smile.  “Breaking up with Cho is like facing that dragon, Voldemort and 100 Dementors all at once.  If she’s not breathing fire or trying to kill you, she’s sucking all the happiness out of you.”

 

Ron snorted, burying his face in his knee, and grumbled when Hermione whacked him upside the head with her book.

 

“I’ll do it tomorrow…” Harry said, looking like he’d rather chew Doxy eggs.

 

“Smart man, maybe you’ll finally pick a REAL winner like I did.” Neville commented, smiling when Ginny juts blushed and held her close, nuzzling her neck softly while Ron and Hermione started arguing about how it was best for Harry to break up with Cho.

 

If Kiersten was shocked by Harry’s statement, she didn’t show it.  She simply turned the page and started writing notes down, trying to memorize important things and facts that would help her get through this agonizing test.  She wished Luna was in the Gryffindor house, but that would never happen.  Once a person was chosen, they stayed with their house no matter the circumstances.

 

“Ron, you’re a coward!  Cho might be a…witch…but she doesn’t deserve a bloody note!  That’s a lousy way to break up with someone!” Hermione scolded, her lips pursed tightly together as she glared back at Ron.

 

“Yeah, but she might try to hex his bits off if he does it face to face!” Ron protested, not noticing when Harry clenched his legs together, looking a bit green at the thought.

 

“She will not.” Hermione said, though she sounded doubtful. 

 

“When you lot are finished talking about my bits, let me know.” Harry grumbled, standing up with an annoyed expression on his face.

 

“Would you two PLEASE just run away and get married already?” Ginny grumbled under her breath, staring at the two, and shook her head as she snuggled against Neville more.  They were planning on getting married right after their seventh year was finished at Hogwarts, wanting to start a family.

 

“That’s not a bad idea.  Are you sure you want a big wedding?” Neville murmured in her ear, causing Ginny to giggle, and smacked him lightly.

 

Kiersten groaned inwardly, wishing they would get a room already.  The last thing she wanted to do was watch two housemates clash right in the Common Room, where she was currently TRYING to study!  Not saying a word, Kiersten simply waved her wand, spicing the flames up more since they began dying.

 

Harry’s green eyes landed on Kiersten, then her book, cocking an eyebrow.  “That any good?” He asked quietly, trying to keep Ron and Hermione’s attention off him, moving away from the still arguing pair.  He dropped down on the other end of the couch, waiting patiently for her answer, never taking his eyes off her.

 

Kiersten slowly raised her eyes from the book, staring back at him, and shrugged absentmindedly.  “It’s studying so it’s not exactly great.” She stated her voice low, yet no malice or anger was found in her tone.   “It’s for Professor Snape’s test tomorrow.” She said, as if needing to remind him since he was in the same class as her, and proceeded to pull her gaze from his intense green eyes and back at the black lettering of the book.

 

Chapter 2

 

Harry made a face reminiscent of someone who’d just sucked on a lemon.  “Bloody Hell, I’d forgotten all about that.” He said with a sigh.  “Accio notes.” He waved his wand and caught a four feet stack of notes he’d borrowed off Hermione to study, wondering how the Hell she managed to write all this and not die from over studying.

 

“It happens.” Kiersten reasoned with a small smile and chanced a look at his frustrated face.  “If you wish, I could help you out by telling you exactly what to study for.  Professor Snape might be timid, but he’s very predictable.” She looked back into Harry’s eyes again and felt her insides twist violently, the butterflies boiling over, though she was hiding it damn well from him.

 

Harry looked over at Hermione-the person who normally saved his butt in classes when he didn’t pay attention or forgot something-and found she was still having a heated spat with Ron.  He shrugged, turning to smile at Kiersten.  “I’d really appreciate that.” He said warmly, his green eyes reflecting firelight back at her.

 

Kiersten smiled back at him and began pointing out key points, studying with Harry.  She couldn’t believe this was happening and couldn’t wipe away the smile that etched her features.  “This is extremely important too and the main ingredient to make the potion.” She concluded after three hours of studying, wanting to make sure he understood that.  Looking up at the clock, she was shocked to find it was near midnight.  “Oh goodness, we’ve stayed up too long!” She whispered hastily.

 

Harry blinked, sure she was pulling his leg and glanced at the clock.  His eyes widened and he gave a sweep around the Common Room, finding it empty beside him.  Normally the trio were up well into the early hours of the morning studying.  “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to keep you up so late.” He apologized awkwardly.

 

“It’s not your fault.” She insisted with a smile, standing up from the couch, and stretched her limbs as the firelight radiated off of her.  “It was worth it, especially since I haven’t studied for this test until tonight.” She looked sheepish, but in all honesty, she hated making potions and the teacher who taught it.  “I do hope I helped you some, Harry.” She bit her bottom lip and started gathering her book and notes up.

 

“You did.  You’re more patient than Hermione and she’s been putting up with it for six years.” Harry chuckled, apologizing when he accidentally sent her notes flying.  Cursing, he reached into the fire automatically to pluck out a sheet of parchment, aiming his wand at it.   A second later, the fire was put out and it was repaired.  “Sorry.” He held it out to her, sucking on his burnt fingers.

 

“You’re hurt again.” She pointed out the obvious, walking over, and took his hands in hers once more.  Closing her eyes, her hands began glowing white as the burns instantly disappeared, leaving just smooth skin as her eyes opened once more.  “You really have to be more careful, Harry.  I could’ve easily gotten it.” She softly scolded, though an appreciative smile was on her face.

 

“I’m always getting hurt.” He shrugged nonchalantly, though there was a charming smile on his face as he stared at her.  “Must come in handy.  Your healing ability.” He nodded at her hands.  “How’s you come by that anyway?  Born with it?” He raised his fingers up, studying them curiously, looking for a trace of the burn he’d sustained only to find nothing.

 

“Yes, I was born with it.  My parents were killed in a horrible fire when I was an infant so I was put in a foster home in the Muggle world.  Though they weren’t my real blood related parents, I still love them dearly.  My real parents that died were fully magical gifted and I was told I got my healing ability from my mother.” She explained, blushing when he just stared at her, and knew she’d said too much.  “Sorry.” She mumbled, turning around, and bent down to retrieve the rest of her pages.  ‘You talk too much!’ She berated herself in thought.

 

Harry knew Kiersten was embarrassed and he’d be lying if he said she hadn’t been babbling, she had been.  But it was kind of cute how she launched into a lengthy explanation, then suddenly halted.  “No, it’s fine.  I’m sorry about your mum and dad.” He raked a hand through his messy black hair, finally helping her with her notes.

 

“It’s alright, happened long ago.” She waved it off dismissively, smiling softly when their hands touched on one of the pages, and looked up into his eyes.  “Well, I guess we should both get to bed.” She suggested, pulling her hand from his first, and slowly stood as she clutched her book and papers to her chest.  “You have a good night, Harry.” She said and turned, heading up the stairs toward her chambers.

 

“Yeah, you too.” Harry watched her as she walked, finally shaking his head and following, turning at the landing and heading up the flight of stairs to the boy’s dormitory.  He ignored the snickering coming from Ron and Neville’s beds, guessing the two had been counting hours till he came up and knew he’d be suffering them in the morning.  A smile on his face, he changed into his pajamas and slipped into bed, folding his hands under his head.  It’d been a long time since he last enjoyed being in the company of a girl besides Hermione and Ginny.

 

The following day, Kiersten walked into Professor Snape’s class, keeping to herself and sat in her seat near the front.  She set her things down and looked over a few last minute notes before class begun.  No matter how hard she tried though, she couldn’t seem to get the thought of Harry out of her mind or his touch from her hand.  Her thoughts were broken up when screaming was heard from the hallway, causing her to stand along with everyone else to witness the scene.

 

“I can’t believe you Harry Potter!!” Cho shrieked angrily, her face beat red from both embarrassment and anger, and started stomping her feet.  “It’s because of HER, isn’t it?” She shouted, pointing at Kiersten, who looked like she wanted to crawl in a hole and die at that moment.  “She put some sort of spell on you!!”

 

“It has nothing to do with her, it’s US, Cho, just us.” Harry said, sounding much calmer than his angry counterpart.  “Look, it’s just not working out…now come on, go to your class before we get in trouble.  HEY, PUT IT-” There was a bang followed by the sound of someone hitting the floor.


“Bloody Hell Harry, you just stunned her!”

 

Harry looked around his classmates, then down at Cho, whose body was in the doorway of a classroom she wasn’t even supposed to be in.  She had been aiming a curse at Kiersten and he had reacted out of instinct.

 

Glaring down at Cho, something came over Kiersten as she pointed her wand, and muttered under her breath when nobody was watching a spell that was forbidden to use.  “Crucio.” She quickly put her wand away when Cho began screaming in pain and walked back in the classroom, her anger diminished as fast as it came.  It was as if someone else had taken over her mind and body.

 

Harry stared wide eyed down at Cho as she curled into a fetal position, screaming bloody murder.  He backed away instantly, knowing he was going to get blamed for this.  He had stunned Cho, not tortured her.

 

“We have to get her to the hospital wing!” Hermione said quickly, looking around for Snape.  “I’ll do it.  Wingardium Leviosa!”

 

“Well, the fire’s definitely going now.” Ron commented, watching as Hermione levitated Cho down the hallway.

 

She couldn’t believe what she just did.  That spell was illegal to use and she’d just done it!  What was wrong with her?  Kiersten was trembling as she sat down in her seat in the classroom, looking down at her desk, trying not to lose all of her emotion in front of everyone.  ‘Just play it calm.’ She mentally coached herself, the sounds of Cho’s screams echoing in her mind.

 

Harry dropped down next to Kiersten, Ron sitting opposite him at the table saving a spot for Hermione.  He managed a weak smile for Kiersten, wondering if she thought he had done that.  He knew his classmates were staring at him.  Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived was a woman abuser.  “Bloody Hell…”

 

Writing something on a piece of paper, Kiersten waited until Professor Snape wasn’t looking and was sure of it before tossing it to Harry quickly.  She sighed heavily, raking her hands through her hair, and hoped he didn’t hate her for what she’d done.  Though deep down, she didn’t regret it, with hating Cho and all.

 

Harry waited for Snape to turn his back before unfolding the slip of parchment, reading it.  He cocked an eyebrow at Kiersten quizzically, wondering if she was going to berate him.  He sighed, then his attention was diverted when Hermione appeared.

 

“Ten points from Gryffindor for being late.” Snape said without turning around.

 

With a heavy sigh, Kiersten began the test, knowing almost all the answer except one.  She raked a hand through her hair in frustration, finally putting what she knew was the wrong one, and handed her test in without a word.  After class was over, Kiersten headed down the hallway, hearing whispers about what happened between Cho and Harry.  She gasped when someone shoved her into a darkened hallway and turned around, staring into the intense green eyes of Harry.  “Merlin’s pants you scared me!” She whispered harshly.

 

“Sorry.” Harry apologized, glancing back over his shoulder before casting ‘Muffliato’ to make sure no one overheard their conversation.  “Look,” He began without preamble.  “I didn’t do that to Cho.  I just stunned her with ‘Stupefy’, I swear.” He didn’t want anyone to think he’d use a curse or hex on a girl, well…he would, if needed, but that situation didn’t need it.

 

“Harry, I know you didn’t do it.” She murmured, raking a hand through her hair, and suddenly looked at the floor like it was the most interesting thing in the world.  “I did.” She said barely above a whisper, but knew he’d heard her, and felt tears of anguish sting her eyes.  “I didn’t mean to do it.   It just…came out.” She bit her bottom lip, knowing he’d probably end up telling the Headmaster Dumbledore and she’d be sent straight to Azkaban, stripped of her wand, the whole shebang.

 

Harry’s black eyebrows raised, disappearing into his hair, green eyes widened.  “You…what spell did you use?” He asked finally, watching her intently.  When she mouthed ‘Crucio’, he groaned.  “Kiersten…you know if they…” He frowned, raking a hand through his hair.  “What happened when you did it?” He finally demanded, not sure what else to ask.

 

“I don’t know…I just got this sudden surge of hatred for her inside of me and it just…came out.” She managed to say, trying not to cry, and wrapped her arms around herself.  “I’m sorry, Harry.  I’m really sorry.” She whispered, her eyes moving from side to side, and backed away from him when he took a step toward her.  Seeing him stun Cho had scared her and enticed her all at the same time.

 

Harry frowned when she backed away and held up his hands, his wand now safely stowed in his robes.  “Look…maybe you ought to speak to Dumbledore.” He said finally, not knowing what else to tell her.  “Or maybe Madam Pomfrey…for a uh…girl…” He didn’t know how to continue that one.  Maybe it was that female curse coming through.

 

“No, I’m not talking to anyone about this, Harry.  Look, it was one time and it’ll never happen again.” She promised, knowing what would happen if she did tell anyone else that she’d used the spell that was illegal and forbidden against another student, against anyone in general.  “And what was with you stunning a girl?” She demanded, suddenly turning the tables on him.

 

Harry blinked at this sudden turnabout.  “Well, she was going to hex you.” He said bluntly.  “She raised her wand, aimed it at you, and I stunned her.  Simple as that.” He shrugged, green eyes fastened firmly on her.  “If it does happen again, will you tell me?”

 

“Yes, but it won’t.” She stated once more, her promise telling him the truth along with her eyes, and sighed heavily.  “Are you going to tell anyone?” She finally asked, rubbing the back of her neck nervously, knowing if he did, she was sure to be sent to Azkaban for life.

 

Harry shook his head.  “No, I’m not going to tell anyone.  It’d look a bit hypocritical if I did, wouldn’t it?” His own misadventures were rather well-known; he’d done his fair share of law breaking on several occasions.  “But…if you…feel that way again, please, tell me.”

 

“Why?” She whispered, not looking at him, already knowing the answer to that question.  “Fine, alright I will.” She grumbled, knowing she had no choice in this matter, and finally looked up at him again.  “Thank you…for defending me.” She cleared her throat, feeling awkward suddenly.

 

“No worries.” Harry shrugged.  “I know it’s sort of my fault Cho tried to hex you.  She saw you help me last night and…well, she’s had a bit of a possessive streak to her.” He raked a hand through his messy black hair.  “It’s about time for next class…” He stepped out of the shadows, gesturing her forward as well.  “How’d you do on Snape’s test?”

 

“Okay I guess.” She murmured, knowing she probably would only get that one question wrong, and sighed heavily.  “What class do you have next?” She asked softly, pulling her hair up into a low ponytail to keep it out of her face, a habit she couldn’t break.

 

“Defense Against the Dark Arts.” Harry answered automatically, beginning to walk out of the dungeons, glad to be leaving the chilly, gloomy bowels of the castle.  He smiled and waved at Terry Boot, glad his Prefect friend wasn’t all that keen on scolding him for dawdling.  Though knowing Boot, he was probably trying to stop Peeves from attacking First Years.

 

“That’s my next class too.” She murmured, raking a hand through her hair, and seen Harry was too busy with his other friend to notice her so she walked on without him.  She arrived in class a few moments later and took her seat, taking her book and wand out, ready to learn how to defend herself the RIGHT way and not use spells that could potentially end her.

 

Chapter 3

 

Harry said his goodbyes to Boot and hurried to DADA, sinking down in the open seat by Ron, ignoring his under the breath questions about where he’d been.  “Just…talking.” He answered in a murmur.

 

“You were almost late.” Luna said to Kiersten, waving her wand airily, trying to produce a simple shield as they were recapping for N.E.W.T.’s.  “Harry is very nice isn’t he?”

 

Staring back at her, Kiersten just nodded, though no smile formed on her lips.  “Yes, he is.” She whispered back, producing a shield without a problem, and wished she would’ve done ‘Protego’ instead of ‘Crucio’ to Cho earlier.  That was completely and utterly eating her alive, but she managed to keep it calm, cool and collected for the most part.

 

“He’s looking at you.” Luna said after a while, finally procuring a decent shield charm before moving onto a Patronus, which she could do quite well, watching it hop about the room with a dreamy smile on her face.  “I think he fancies you, Kiersten.”

 

“Stop staring!” Ron grunted, nudging Harry in the ribs.

 

“Watch it!” Hermione yelped, shoving Harry’s arm away when he about poked her in the eye with his wand.

 

“No he’s not.” Kiersten murmured and took a chance glance at him, blushing when she locked eyes with Harry, and immediately looked away as her Crow shaped Patronus flowed around her.  Her happy thought had been about Harry, though she’d never reveal that, and sighed when Luna began sighing dreamily.  “Luna, stop it.” She ordered.

 

“Stop what?” Luna asked vaguely, still smiling though she did glance at her friend, arching a blonde eyebrow curiously.  “Are you feeling alright?  You look flushed.” She pressed a hand to Kiersten’s forehead.  “I knew Wrack spurt had been around you last night.  Do you need to go the hospital wing?”

 

“No, quiet!” She whispered, not wanting attention to go on her, and looked down as she pulled the ponytail out of her hair, allowing it to flow over her shoulders, more important to hide her face.  Luna was her best friend, but at times, she didn’t know when to shut up.  This was one of those moments.

 

“Hello Hermione.” Luna greeted when she appeared.

 

Hermione nodded, watching with a slightly annoyed expression as Luna began to swat the air.  She was more than used to Luna’s oddities, but that didn’t stop her from rolling her eyes on occasion.  “Kiersten…we’ve been partnered to practice stunning spells.” She announced promptly.

 

“Oh…okay.” She said somewhat hesitant and stood up as she grabbed her wand, following Hermione to the spot where it was designed for practicing stunts.  “Do you want to go first or should I?” She asked politely, knowing Hermione knew exactly what she was doing, and so did Kiersten, but that didn’t mean they didn’t have to practice.  After all, practice made perfect.

 

Hermione waved her wand and arranged cushions behind her.  “You can go first.” She said, preparing to fall back.

 

Harry watched curiously, waiting on Ron to stun him already.  He sighed when the spell flew by and hit Neville.  “Concentrate, what’s gotten into you?” He snapped.

 

“Just watching your girlfriend.”

 

Harry’s own spell missed and hit the teacher.

 

Kiersten couldn’t stop giggling along with Hermione, finally getting over the laughs, and squared her shoulders as she eyed Hermione as the target.  “Stupefy!” She shouted, blasting Hermione, and watched as she flew back, landing hard against the cushions.  She immediately gasped and ran to her side, helping her up.  “You alright?”

 

“Of course I am.” Hermione said, waving her away and getting to her feet.  “Nice one.” She glanced at Harry and Ron, who were being berated for not paying attention to what they were doing, and shook her head.  “Boys.  Ready?” She waited until Kiersten was ready before casting the same spell as well.  She stood over Kiersten a moment later, holding out her hand.

 

“I’m fine.” She replied with a smile, getting up on her own, and raked a hand through her hair as she caught Harry eyeing her again.  ‘I really wish he’d stop looking at me.’ She thought, biting her bottom lip, and sighed with great relief when class was finally over with.  Grabbing her books, Kiersten walked out and headed outside since it was her free period before having to go to Professor Moody’s class.

 

 “Can you be any more obvious?” Hermione asked as the trio headed down the hallway.  “Uh oh…”

 

“Mr. Potter, in my office now.” Professor McGonagall ordered, swooping down on Harry like a vulture, her eyes flashing.

 

Harry knew what this was about and sighed, nodding and headed up the stairs, McGonagall behind him.

 

“Ruddy Hell, he didn’t even hurt her.” Ron said angrily, watching with Hermione.

 

Kiersten couldn’t help, but feel a twinge of guilt enter her body as she caught Professor McGonagall escorting Harry into her office.  “I have to stop this.” She murmured, knowing it was going to cost her big time, but she couldn’t let Harry take the blame as she headed toward McGonagall’s office, tears shining in her eyes.

 

Harry listened intently as McGonagall lectured him on improper use of magic, finally relinquishing his wand for a check.  He had to refrain from smirking when his last two spells were a silencing charm and a stunning spell, nothing out of the ordinary there.   They both looked up when the door opened and he frowned, knowing what she was there for.  “Professor, Kiersten and I are working on a potion together and we need your approval.” Harry lied, coming up with something to cover both Kiersten and himself.

 

Kiersten looked back at him with a shocked expression, ready to turn herself in, and immediately felt her courage drain at the look in his green eyes.  “Uh-yeah…Harry, why don’t you tell her about it before we decide to do it?” She suggested, deciding since he didn’t want his bum saved, she might as well make him do most of the work.

 

Harry smiled, winking at her before turning to Professor McGonagall once more.  “We were wondering if we could make the Felix Felicis.  It’s supposed to be one of the more difficult potions and is sure to come up in N.E.W.T’s, just as a practice.”

 

“You know the laws, Mr. Potter.  I’d suggest you make it and then hand it all over to Professor Snape.”

 

“We will, Professor.  Thank you for your approval.” Kiersten quickly said before walking out, Harry practically shoving her and when the door shut, she whirled around on him.  “What are you thinking?!  You’re not taking the blame for what happened!” She whispered harshly, amber eyes narrowed, placing her hands on her hips.

 

“I didn’t take the fall for anything.” Harry said, taking Kiersten by the arm and guiding her away from the office.  “She checked my wand and I’m clear.  So just calm down.” He nodded to passing Hufflepuffs, keeping his voice low.  “Ten to one they’ll just think Cho is after attention now, she’s a bit of a drama queen anyway.”

 

“Are you sure?” She asked in a whisper, wanting to make sure that he wouldn’t get in trouble for her mistake, and raked a hand through her hair.  “I’m sorry, Harry. I didn’t want them to blame you for what I did.” She looked down and sighed; knowing she’d jumped to conclusions too fast, and was willing to admit her faults.

 

“No worries.” Harry said amicably.  “They’re sort of used to me getting into trouble though that one would’ve taken the cake.” He offered an easy going smile.  “Look, it happens.  When we get upset or something, sometimes we can’t control our magic.  Now…we’re stuck doing a potion.  Sorry about that, I didn’t know what else to say.”

 

“It’s alright, Harry.  Thank you again for not saying anything.” She said, looking up into his eyes, and patted his shoulder reassuringly.  “If you want, we could work on it tonight in the Common Room.  That’s a rather difficult potion, though I’m not too familiar with it, so it might take a few days to get perfect so we can both pull this off.” She was keeping it down, not wanting anyone else to overhear them.  “Whatever works for you, Harry?”

 

“It’ll take a month actually.” Harry said, frowning slightly.  “I don’t know if we should brew it in the Common Room, someone might tamper with it.  How about Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom?” He had to repress a grin, remembering how they’d brew Polyjuice Potion in there his second year with Hermione and Ron.  “Only bad thing would be Myrtle herself.”

 

“She has a thing for you from what I’ve heard.” Kiersten commented and laughed when Harry just groaned, knowing it was true.  “I guess that would be our best bet.  We could hide it in her stall since nobody goes in there.” She suggested, smiling when Harry agreed.  “When do you want to meet to start this then?” She asked, raking a hand through her hair, and looked out the window to watch Hermione and Ron argue…again.

 

Harry followed her gaze and smirked.  “They act like an old married couple.  I think they might actually marry just to continue fighting more conveniently.” He said quietly before clearing his throat.  “Whenever you’re ready to start.  We’ll have to ask Snape for the ingredients though.” He pulled a face, not eager about that.  He had to be Snape’s least favorite student.

 

“I’ll do it.  What do you want me to say though so it convinces him that it’s not a cover up?” She asked, turning her attention back at him, and crossed her arms in front of her chest.  If only he wasn’t so damn adorable!  That’s the thought that flowed through her mind as Kiersten leaned her head back against the wall.

 

Harry cocked an eyebrow.  “It’s not a cover up.  Just tell him to check with McGonagall if he doesn’t believe you.  Maybe I should go too…He’d think it fishy if you came asking for the ingredients without me.” Harry sighed slightly.  “Too bad…most likely he’ll give me detention.  Oh well.” He flashed another grin.

 

“If he does, then I’ll do it with you.” She promised with a grin of her own, the first to his estimation, and stepped away from the wall as they headed to Professor Snape’s class.  Knocking twice, Kiersten had to take a few deep breaths as he answered the door, looking pale and dark as ever, and was actually glad Harry had come with her.  “Uh hello Professor…” She greeted, trying to keep the shakiness out of her voice.

 

Severus Snape looked back and forth between the pair, his cold black eyes surveying Potter with undisguised disdain.  “What?” He barked, not appreciating his time being disturbed.

 

“We ah…” Harry swallowed hard, always hating this kind of thing with this particular teacher.  “We need the ingredients for a Felix Felicis potion.”

 

“We thought we could make it for extra credit, sir.” She piped in, looking up into Snape’s dark eyes, and bit her bottom lip.  She could only hope that was enough and started thinking as she added something else to put the icing on the cake so to speak.  “Wasn’t it one of your extra credit projects you were telling us about today in class before the test, sir?”

 

“One of them.” Severus admitted grudgingly.  “Of course once it’s been made, you’d have to turn ALL of it over to me.” He stared at Harry, as if silently accusing Potter of thinking about doing the exact opposite.  “Are we clear?”

 

“Crystal sir.”

 

Severus’s jaw twitched, but he stepped back, gesturing to the generally off limits potion cupboard.

 

“Thank you, Professor.” She said, walking over, and started gathering ingredients she’d remembered from scratch.  She knew Snape was probably thinking Harry would use the potion for some devious plan and that angered her, but she refused to show it.  “Did you get the rest of it?” She whispered while Snape watched them like a hawk, their back to him, her arms full of ingredients.

 

“Yes.” Harry replied, nodding.  He sighed when Snape made them stand still while he examined the ingredients, probably making sure they weren’t filching anything they weren’t supposed to have. 

 

“Now get out of my sight.” Severus ordered, waving them away as he retreated back to his desk, dropping down and returning to grading exams.

 

Harry wasted no time and led the way out, much to Kiersten’s relief.

 

“Well, at least that worked.  I almost forgot he put that special extra credit assignment out.” She was smiling from ear to ear, proud of her smarts, and walked with Harry down to Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom.  She sighed as they walked into the stall nobody used, setting everything down, and walked out after making sure nobody could find them.  “So, when did you want to start making this?” She asked, raking a hand through her hair, and jumped when Myrtle started purring at Harry, causing her to chuckle.  “He’s ALL yours, Myrtle.” She promised while Harry groaned.

 

Harry yawned, stretching. “Tomorrow morning I have a free period first thing.  How about you?” He backed away from Myrtle, remembering uncomfortably the time she had come into the Prefect’s bathroom while he was bathing.  Thank Merlin though he didn’t blush.  He scowled at the ‘all yours’ comment and shot Kiersten a look.  “You’re not funny.”

 

“Oh I know, I’m hilarious.” She giggled more and shrugged when he told her the time they could meet next.  “Sure, that sounds fine to me.  I don’t sleep much these days anyway.” She made it sound like it was no big deal, not realizing Harry had the exact same problem as her, and smiled when Myrtle started snuggling up to him.  “I think I’ll leave you two alone.” She stated and walked out, her laughter echoing back at him.

 

“Why is she following you?” Hermione demanded, watching as Harry practically ran to her, Moaning Myrtle right behind him.

 

“She thinks I’m hers or something.” Harry muttered, clearly not amused.

 

Hermione sighed while Ron sniggered, both looking amused when Harry began to turn pink.

 

“But she’s dead, how can-” Ron halted when Myrtle zoomed away screaming and crying.  “Works like a charm.”

 

“That was mean, Ronald!” Ginny scolded, walking up to her big brother, and smiled as Hermione just glared at him.  “What’s up guys?” She asked, looking thoroughly bored, and leaned against Ron’s arm with a sigh.  “Did you hear about Cho, Harry?  She’s really hurt.  They said someone used the Cruciatus Curse on her, but nobody will come clean on who did it.  Not that you could really blame them.”

 

“Really?” Harry tried to look interested and fell short.  “They thought I did it, but McGonagall checked my wand.” He shrugged, inwardly squirming a bit.  “I’m sure it won’t amount to anything, everyone outside of Ravenclaw knows what a banshee Cho can be.”

 

Luna-passing by-shot him a very odd look at that statement.

 

“Yeah well I heard that if they ever DO catch who did it, they’re carting them off straight to Azkaban.” Ginny stated, sighing heavier, and shook her head as her mood suddenly changed.  “So, what’s up with you and Kiersten, Harry?  You two seem to be getting close…” She trailed off, a smirk on her features, and crossed her arms in front of her chest expectantly.

 

Harry frowned, wondering what lengths they would go to find out who did this and sighed, knowing he’d have to talk to Kiersten as soon as possible about going to Dumbledore.  He then blinked, staring at Ginny.  “Nothing.  We’re just partnering up for a potions project.” He said honestly, though he was beginning to smile.

 

“Oh really?” Ginny wasn’t buying it and smirked when she seen Harry smile, knowing he was definitely smitten with the girl.  “If I were you, I’d get to know her just a little bit better and not jump right into it like you did with Cho.” She suggested, placing her hand on his shoulder, and kissed his cheek in a friendly way.  “See you all around.” She said happily before walking away, seeing Neville was waiting for her.

 

“You know; I think sometimes Ginny should write a book about us blokes on relationships.” Ron said as they meandered into the Great Hall.  “It’d save a lot of bloody time.”

 

Hermione looked like she was repressing a scathing comment, dropping down at the table.

 

Harry just kept on smiling.

 

Chapter 4

 

Kiersten was sitting at the table already, a book in her hands, her nose stuck in it, not looking up when she felt Harry’s gaze on her.  She turned the page, taking a bite out of her food, and put her fork down, never taking her eyes from the words.  It was one of her favorite vampire stories she could read over and over again.  Something about the darkness of it appealed to her in ways unimaginable.

 

“Hello.” Luna dropped down beside Kiersten, ignoring the curious looks she was receiving.  “Cho is saying Harry is the one who attacked her still, did you know?” She smiled slightly, studying the book cover.  “Again?”

 

Harry groaned, burying his face in his arms when he overheard Luna.  No wonder people thought he was mad.

 

“I wish they would all just mind their own damn business!” She snapped, though no malice or anger was evident in her tone, just pure annoyance as she apologetically smiled at Luna.  “You know I can’t get enough of this book.  Just the way the darkness and romance flows together, it sends chills.  You should try it.” She laughed when Luna stuck her tongue out, her way of saying no.

 

Luna produced the latest issue of the Quibbler, flipping it sideways as she sipped her pumpkin juice.  “Nobody is going to mind their own business because it’s all over the school.” She said matter-of-factly.  “Cho is making a big fuss over it and she hasn’t left the hospital wing yet.”

 

“Maybe she’ll learn to deal with her anger accordingly.” Kiersten simply stated, chancing a glance at Harry, who was moving his head, telling her they had to talk.  “I’ll be right back.” She stated, standing up, and walked out of the Great Hall.  A moment later, Harry arrived and he immediately put the spell around them so only they could be heard.  “What are we going to do about this, Harry?  Everyone is saying it’s you and she’s making a big deal about it.” She was starting to tremble, scared for her life.

 

“The Professors know it wasn’t me.” Harry reminded her quickly.  “But they’ll be checking everyone who was in that classroom and outside of it, they’ll be examining their wands.  You need to go to Dumbledore and explain this to him, Kiersten.  If you don’t and they find the curse in your wand, you’re gone to Azkaban.”

 

Kiersten’s eyes widened when he said that and felt the tears spill down her cheeks.  She couldn’t take it anymore and ran down the hallway as fast as her feet would carry her.  She wasn’t going to Azkaban.  She would simply leave Hogwarts and never return.  After she was in her chambers, Kiersten wasted no time in packing, tears flowing down her cheeks like two rapid streams, and cried out when a voice sounded in her head again.

 

You’re just fine, Kiersten.  You did nothing wrong.  She deserved it!  Punish her for making you feel this way!

 

She shook her head, refusing to listen to the voice.  “STOP IT!!  JUST STOP IT!!!” She screamed, packing harder and faster, her entire body breaking out into a cold sweat.

 

Harry had followed Kiersten, not about to see her screw up her life because of one mistake, and tensed when he heard her screaming.  He somehow made it up the trick steps without winding up on the floor face first and burst into the girl’s dormitory, halting when he seen her packing.  “Accio wand!” He called out, catching her wand when it flew at him, not about to be jinxed inadvertently.

 

Kiersten didn’t even hear him walk in as she gripped her hair tightly in her hands, trying to stop shaking, trying to stop this evil, malicious voice from entering her head.  It was the sole reason why she’d used the Cruciatus Curse on Cho to begin with.  “Stop it please!!” She begged in a painful cry, finally lying on the floor curled up in a tight ball, the tears never stopping.  “Just stop…” She whispered and began sobbing violently to herself, wondering what was happening to her.

 

Harry frowned, staring down at Kiersten, wondering who the bloody Hell she was talking too.  “I’m…not hurting you.” He said finally, getting a feeling it wasn’t him she was referring too.  Pocketing her wand, he kneeled down beside her, trying to uncurl her.  “Kiers, it’s me.  It’s Harry.” He whispered, shaking her gently, wondering what in the name of Merlin he should do.

 

The voice finally stopped as she slowly looked up into a pair of concerned green eyes, eyebrows drew together.  “Harry?” She whispered and couldn’t help herself as she threw her arms around his neck, beginning to sob.  She wasn’t more thrilled about him being with her than that moment, not wanting to be alone, especially with that voice popping in and out of her mind constantly.

 

Harry instinctively wrapped his arms around Kiersten, his body on auto-pilot while his mind struggled to piece together what was going on.  He stroked her back soothingly, reality grounding when he felt her hot tears beating down on him.  “It’s going to be alright.” He soothed, pressing his head against hers.  “We’ll…sort this out.”

 

“What’s happening to me?” She whispered heartbrokenly, sounding confused beyond belief, and couldn’t stop trembling even if a wand was aimed directly at her rapidly beating heart.  She slowly pulled back from him, wiping her tears away, and cracked a small smile, a blush forming on her cheeks.  “Sorry about that.  I didn’t mean to attack you like that…” She laughed nervously, raking a hand through her hair, and slowly pulled herself up in a sitting position.

 

“No, it’s alright.” Harry assured her, looking at Kiersten with obvious concern in his eyes.  “I know you don’t want to do this, but I’m insisting you go see Dumbledore.  Whatever is going on, he can help you with it.” He stared down at her, his lips pressed firmly together, waiting for the argument.

 

“No, I’m not going to Dumbledore.  I’m leaving Hogwarts for good.” She revealed, slowly rising to her feet, and looked around at all of her clothes scattered across the room.  “I have no choice; this has gotten completely out of hand.”  She reasoned when he just gave her that look and turned around, beginning to pick up her belongings.

 

Harry shook his head, keeping Kiersten’s wand tucked in his pocket.  “No.  Who’s to say it won’t get worse when you’re out on your own without anyone to help you?  Look, I know you’re scared.  But you must trust me on this, Dumbledore can and will help you.  He’s helped me loads of times with…things.”

 

“No, you don’t understand!  This won’t stop!  This voice…” She trailed off, crying out in frustration, and started throwing her clothes harshly in her suitcase.  “You don’t understand, Harry.” She murmured finally, knowing he probably thought she was insane, and who could honestly blame him?  She was!  Talking about voices inside her head, who wouldn’t think she was insane?  Even Kiersten herself thought she was insane.

 

Harry blinked once then nodded, understanding how that felt.  “You know who I am right?” He joked.  “I’m Harry Potter, half the time hero and half the time a bloody nutcase.  I hear voices, go into spasms, the lot.  I don’t think you’re insane.” He added, seeing the look on her face.  “Just…talk to him.”

 

“That voice is the sole reason why I’m in this trouble right now.” She admitted quietly, finally stopping the packing, and sat down on her bed as she put her head in her hands.  “I can’t do this…I’ll be sent away and I can’t let that happen, Harry.  Please, don’t make me go to Dumbledore.  Just let me leave quietly and I promise I’ll never bother any of you again.” She started crying, terrified for her very existence now.

 

“If you’re sure you’re going to be sent away, why not see him anyway?  Dumbledore is NOT about to report you to the Ministry of Magic, he thinks they’re a bunch of dunderheads for one.  Second, you’re one of his students, he’s definitely not inclined to send a minor off to Azkaban for a mistake.” Harry said confidently.

 

“Why are you so intent in forcing me to talk to Dumbledore?” She finally asked, looking up at him, her eyebrows drawn together.  Harry was a determined man, she had to admit that, but she wondered deep down if there was some sort of connection between them that even they didn’t know.  Could it be that he heard this voice in his head too?   “Fine, I’ll go, but I’m still leaving Hogwarts.” She stated in a final tone and stood up from the bed.

 

Harry nodded, agreeing with her, anything to get her to see Dumbledore.  Knowing it would probably be best if they weren’t seen, he pulled her out of the room and onto the landing, gesturing for Kiersten to wait.  A second later, they were under his Invisibility Cloak and heading out of the Common Room.  “You’re doing the right thing.” He said softly as they neared the stone gargoyle that guarded Dumbledore’s office.

 

“I hope you’re right.” She muttered back at him, not at all convinced, and jumped when the gargoyle began to slowly move along with the stairs as they descended them.  Within moments, they were standing right in front of the Professor’s phoenix, causing Kiersten to begin trembling even more.  She was scared to death and who in the name of Merlin could blame her?

 

Fawkes studied the pair out of his beady eyes, finally letting out a low melodic wail.

 

“And to what do I owe the unexpected pleasure of this visit?” Dumbledore didn’t even look up from the parchment he was reading, even though they hadn’t taken off the clock.

 

Harry removed the cloak, not fazed, it wouldn’t be the first time Dumbledore had seen through the cloak.  “Sir, Kiersten has been…hearing voices.”

 

Kiersten didn’t dare move, look up, anything of the sort.  She was shaking so hard, her teeth were chattering inside her mouth, and she could already feel the tears sliding down her cheeks.  Dumbledore was the Headmaster and she felt very small compared to him, even though he had a very friendly vibe to him.  “H-Hello Professor…” She muttered for a greeting, raking a hand through her hair, and hugged herself.

 

“Voices.” Dumbledore repeated pleasantly, his twinkling blue eyes studying her thoughtfully.  “What kind of voices?” He asked her in a kind tone, gesturing at the pair of chintz chairs before his desk.

 

Harry took her hand and guided her down into a chair, dropping into his own.

 

“An evil, malicious voice, sir.” She answered, walking over with Harry’s help, and sat down in one of the offered chairs, tears stinging her eyes.  “It sounds like a snake, but low…” She looked up at him and started crying, knowing she couldn’t hide it anymore, and dropped her head in shame.  “It’s the reason I used the unforbidden Cruciatus Curse on Cho Chang…”

 

Dumbledore didn’t look the least bit surprised by this information and merely nodded, folding his fingers together.  “A low, snakelike voice, you say?  You’re not a Parseltongue either, are you?”

 

“If she were sir, it wouldn’t have been in her head would it?  I would’ve heard it too.”

 

“Maybe.”

 

“No, not that I’m aware of.” She replied, looking at the Professor with the most confused expression on her face, and slowly stood.  “Professor, what’s going on?  How did you know it was me and how do you know about this voice and why is Harry talking like this has happened to him before?” Knowing she was rambling, Kiersten finally stopped, needing to learn how to breathe again as more tears formed in her eyes.

 

Professor Dumbledore glanced sharply at Harry.  “You mean she doesn’t know?”

 

“Of course not.” Harry said indignantly.  “You think it’s something I brandy about the school?”

 

“No, no of course not.” He sighed, sounding tired, which was unusual.  “Harry would understand this best because he deals with something similar.  And as for how I know it was you who performed the Curse…obviously you’re feeling guilty and one doesn’t need to be a skilled Legilmens to read a person’s face.”

 

“I’m so sorry, Professor!” She cried out, trembling from head to toe, tears spilling down her cheeks like two rapid streams.  “I-I didn’t mean too…” She choked out, wrapping her arms tightly around her midsection.  “It was the voice; I swear to you!  I would NEVER use that spell; I know it’s forbidden…” She was hoping he’d have pity on her and let her leave Hogwarts on her own instead of in custody.  “I’m leaving Hogwarts tonight for good.”

 

“Why would you leave Hogwarts?  You have an education to obtain not to mention, I daresay, you’ll want to find out what exactly is going on in your mind.” Dumbledore said politely.  “And if you leave, I’m afraid I won’t be able to help you.”

 

Harry looked back and forth between them, wondering what Dumbledore would say or do if Kiersten chose to leave still.

 

“Y-You mean; you’re not sending me away?” She asked, sounding shocked, her amber eyes widened just slightly.  Her nose was red along with her eyes, which were still watery from the oncoming tears that refused to stop, and looked down at the floor as she gripped her hair between her fingers.

 

“Of course not.  I believe some Occulmency lessons are in order and hopefully, you’ll prove more adept to tem then Harry.” Professor Dumbledore said, his eyes sparkling merrily as he glanced at Harry.  Harry had the good grace to look abashed though he was trying not to grin.  “Also, I would like you to keep a journal of these encounters, the voices you hear.  Write everything down.”

 

“A…A journal?” She questioned, trying not to sound rude, but it couldn’t be helped.  When he nodded, she simply agreed, raking a hand through her hair, and suddenly stopped as the voice suddenly sounded in her mind.

 

Do not listen to them, Beautiful One!  YOU have the power and that boy holds it in his pocket!  Bow to me, succumb to the darkness of your soul!

 

Shaking her head, Kiersten started crying, her head throbbing as she started pacing back and forth. “NO!  STOP IT!” She shouted, clutching her head again.

 

One second Dumbledore was behind his desk and the next he standing over Kiersten, his wand pressed to her forehead, his free hand splayed on top of her head, a frown furrowing his face.  Harry could only watch, somewhere in his mind hoping his jaw was hanging loose because at the moment he felt like a fish out of water, no need to look like one.

 

“W-What’s happening?!” She cried out in fear, feeling Dumbledore’s wand and hand on her head, trying to search out the voice.  She wished he could find out who was doing this and fast before it completely drove her over the edge.  She hadn’t slept since this started and she was finding it difficult to breathe whenever this occurred, which was now more frequent than not.

 

Chapter 5

 

Dumbledore’s eyes were closed, listening it seemed, though to what was anybody’s guess.  Finally, the tip of his wand lit up and grew warm.  He kept a firm hold on Kiersten’s head to keep her from shying away from him as he put up blocks in her mind, knowing he needed to do something immediately until her Occulmency lessons started and took root.

 

Kiersten felt what he was doing in her mind, the voice disappearing slowly, fading until it was gone and she slowly opened her eyes to stare into his soft blue ones.  “T-Thank you.” She stuttered out, needing to lean against the wall to regain her composure, and refused to look at Harry.  “I need my wand.” She whispered, knowing her spell would regain her energy she’d lost from this sudden attack.

 

Harry fumbled inside his robes for a second before pulling it out and silently passed it over.  He remained quiet for a few minutes as Dumbledore contemplated Kiersten before finally asking, “Is…is the voice gone now, sir?”

 

“For now.  Tomorrow, you’ll attend Occulmency lessons.  With myself.” He added as an afterthought, knowing he would be the best one to teach her.

 

Nodding without a word, Kiersten knew she had no choice as she stuck her wand in her palm, and a white light slowly crawled up her arm, causing her to sigh with contentment, almost as if she was waking up from a long nap.  “There, that’s better.” She stated, tucking her wand away, and looked up at the Professor, but still refused to look back at Harry.  “Do you know who’s doing this, sir?” She finally asked, hoping he had an answer for her.

 

“I have an idea of who it might be.” He replied quietly, looking at her face, but not meeting her eyes, something Harry didn’t miss, then turned and headed back to his desk.  “Though until I’m sure, I would prefer not to voice it.  Harry, would you kindly escort Kiersten back to the Common Room?”

 

Harry nodded without a word, getting to his feet.

 

“S-Sir, please if you know, please tell me.” She pleaded, her hands on the desk, staring directly at the Headmaster.  “Please, I don’t want this to happen to me anymore.” The tears returned as she raked her hands through her hair.  “I haven’t slept in months ever since this started…” She revealed, suddenly feeling exhausted again.  “That’s why I’ve come up with the reviving spell so that I don’t collapse.” She was referring to sticking her wand in her palm, what she did a few moments prior.

 

“We will talk in the morning.  I’ll have Madam Pomfrey come to the Gryffindor Common Room to administer a sleeping draught.” Dumbledore stated in a tone that suggested he wasn’t going to say anything else.  “And please, do not try to leave the castle as I’ve already evoked the security.”

 

“Yes sir.” She murmured softly and turned around, walking to the door with Harry following, wondering what was going on.  He knew who it was, she could tell, but why wouldn’t he tell her?  Tears spilled down her cheeks as she looked straight ahead, not waiting for Harry, not even acknowledging him.  She’d gotten him in enough trouble and refused to drag him in any further.

 

Harry had no trouble matching Kiersten’s strides, keeping an amicable silence for a while.  “You haven’t asked me if I knew anything.” He finally said, his voice low and even.  He had honestly expected a barrage of questions and was rather surprised at her silence.

 

“I’ve dragged you into this far enough, Harry.” She replied in a short, flat tone, not turning around to look at him.  “The best thing for you to do is forget you ever met me and don’t talk to me anymore.  I’m nothing but trouble, especially to you.” She added, walking into the Common Room, and started up the stairs to the girl’s dormitory.

 

Harry caught her arm, whirling her around to face him, his green eyes flashing in anger.  “You don’t know the first thing about me obviously or you’d have realized you didn’t drag me into anything.  Secondly, I told you I hear a voice in my head as well, don’t you think I could help you?”

 

Kiersten’s eyes were shining with unshed tears as she stared back into his.  “That’s precisely why you shouldn’t help me because of this connection we have with this voice.” She was trying to protect him and he was being stubborn!  Didn’t he realize that his life was in danger again with her around?

 

As if reading her mind, Harry suddenly grinned.  “My life is always in danger so forget that idea right now, it’s rubbish.” He said lightly, nonchalantly.  He had accepted danger and him would always be fast companions.  “And maybe this voice isn’t the same one…” He hoped so anyway, he’d hate to think Voldemort was behind attacking her.

 

“What voice are you talking about?  WHO are you talking about, Harry?” She demanded, anger flashing in her eyes suddenly, hating being left in the dark.  “Listen, if you know something, you need to tell me.  I have the right to know since it’s happening to me.” She didn’t mean to snap on him, but that’s what fear did to her, and it was her defense.

 

“The voice in my head is a bit private.” Harry said flatly, sounding annoyed.  It was one thing for him to become involved in something, it was quite another to get someone involved in his ordeal with Voldemort.  “All I’m saying is I have some experience with people trying to control you.  You need to start emptying your mind before you go to sleep, try to get rid of every thought.”

 

“Whatever.  You know what, just leave me alone, Potter.” She spat angrily in return, not believing he wasn’t going to tell her about the voice he heard in his mind, when it could very well be the same one she was hearing.  “Just stay out of it!” She snapped when he grabbed her from behind and ripped her arm out of his grasp, rushing up the stairs to her chambers, and slammed the door behind her harshly.

 

Harry looked frustrated, running his hands down his face.  He ignored the looks from everyone present and just stormed up to his own dormitory angrily.

 

“Here dear.” Madam Pomfrey bustled into the girl’s room, holding a smoking vial.  “The Headmaster wants you to get some sleep.  Drink it all if you please.”

 

Without a word, Kiersten took it thankfully, downing it in one shot, and groaned at the taste the vile gave off.  She went to say something and collapsed back against the bedding, the darkness instantly devouring her whole.

 

~!~

 

“Do you think it might be…Voldemort?” Hermione whispered the next morning over tea and toast.

 

Harry shrugged, stabbing his sausage with his fork, demolishing the poor food.  “I don’t know.  I don’t see what the connection would be.”

 

“A way to get to you?” Ron suggested, for once not eating. “Maybe-”

 

“Why her though?”

 

Kiersten walked three steps into the Great Hall as all heads turned to her, causing her to immediately shrink back, and walked back out.  She refused to eat with the Gryffindor’s, more important Harry.  She was still angry at him for keeping this from her, keeping this voice, and knew she’d have to see Dumbledore immediately following eating, which she wasn’t going to do.  No appetite called to her as she headed back to the Common Room.

 

“Everyone is talking about you two, you know.” Luna said, appearing out of nowhere.  “You and Harry.  It’s all over the school.” She pushed a strand of her dirty blonde hair behind her ear.  “By the way, Professor Dumbledore asked me to bring you and Harry to his office.”

 

“Potter has no part in this.  It’s none of his concern.” Kiersten snapped, raking a hand through her hair, and stormed away from Luna, heading toward the Headmaster’s office.  She didn’t need Harry on her side, she didn’t need him period.  With a deep breath, she climbed the revolving staircase and was staring at the phoenix once more, like she had the previous night.

 

Luna stared after her friend before shrugging and going to get Harry.  As airy as she was, she knew it wasn’t Kiersten’s orders she was fulfilling.

 

“Come in, come in.” Dumbledore said when Kiersten appeared, looking over her shoulder.  “Hello Harry.”

 

“Good morning, Professor.”

 

“I wish I could say the same, Professor.” Kiersten replied with a sad smile, completely ignoring Harry’s presence, and cleared her throat awkwardly as she pulled her hair up into a messy bun.  “Shall we begin then?” She wanted to get this over and done with.

 

Harry frowned, wondering what he was doing here, but didn’t say a word, just stood off to the side and watched.

 

“You may attempt to disarm me.” Dumbledore said good-naturedly.  “I will attack your mind.  Attempt to block me.” He raised his own wand.  “Are you ready?”

 

Harry winced, knowing this wasn’t going to feel good.

 

Nodding, Kiersten closed her eyes and screamed out when he entered her mind, memories of her childhood flooding through her.  She slowly breathed in and out, trying to concentrate, and opened her eyes as they turned blood red.  “STAY OUT, OLD MAN!” She shrieked, her power overtaking his, but it wasn’t Kiersten anymore.  This was someone entirely different, someone people feared their lives from.

 

Harry listened with wide eyes.  It was Kiersten’s voice, but it wasn’t Kiersten at the same time.  It was a hissy sort of voice and he knew instantly who possessed her.  “Bloody Hell…” He pulled out his wand, watching as Dumbledore attacked her mind again, watching as he was mentally sent sprawling.  “Stupefy!” He shouted.

 

Dumbledore watched Kiersten stumble back.

 

“You dare defy me?” She cackled wickedly, her own wand at the ready, and suddenly dropped it as a shot of pain zipped through her mind.  “STOP IT!!” She was fighting hard, refusing to let this voice get the better of her twice, and was in a curled up fetal position like she’d been earlier.  “NO!  I won’t do it!” She shouted and whipped back on the floor, coughing as the voice vanished from her mind for the time being.

 

Harry slapped a hand to his own forehead, his scar bursting with pain, his vision blurring from the agony.  Dumbledore glanced back and forth between them before kneeling beside Kiersten, deciding Harry could handle it for a moment or two, it wasn’t like this was something new for him.  He placed a hand on the girl’s shoulder, gently rolling her over to look at her face.

 

“P-Professor?” She managed to gasp out, groaning as she blinked rapidly, and slowly sat up from the floor, shaking her head back and forth.  “W-What happened?” She weakly asked, the last thing she remembered was hearing Dumbledore ask if she was ready for her lessons.  “Did I do it?”

 

“Yes and no.” Dumbledore answered gently.  “I was repelled, but not by you.  Of course, you’ve heard of Lord Voldemort, right?”

 

Harry blanched, still clutching his scar as he sank down against the wall, his eyes closed and ears open, knowing whatever was coming wasn’t going to be good in the least.

 

“Of course I have.  He’s the Dark Lord.” She nodded, knowing exactly who that evil being was, and slowly stood with Dumbledore’s help.  “Why do you ask?” She asked, chancing a glance at Harry, and knew something bad awes going to be happening very shortly.  She’d heard of stories with Harry and his patented scar.  This wasn’t going to be good at all.  “Professor, be straightforward with me, do you know what the connection is and who is doing this to me?”

 

Dumbledore nodded, looking grave and moved to sit behind his desk, studying her intently.  “I believe you have a connection with Voldemort.  This is rare, the only other person alive with a psychic bond to Voldemort is Harry himself.  His connection, is forged by a curse and ancient magic, I’m at a loss for yours.”

 

I-I have a connection with the Dark Lord?” She gasped in shock, covering her mouth with her hand, and started looking frantic as she raked a hand through her hair.  “Why would he target me though?  I mean…I’m just Kiersten Riddle, an orphan whose parents died when I was a baby.  Why would he even want anything to do with me?” She was at a complete loss, too shocked to say much else.

 

“Kiersten Riddle.” Dumbledore said, emphasizing her last name.  “I, of course, did some detective work when you came to Hogwarts, nothing out of the ordinary, but now I’m not so sure.  Tell me Kiersten, what do you know of Lord Voldemort?”

 

Harry buried his face in his knees, already piecing this together.

 

“Just that he killed my family when I was a child.  Other than that, just about the Potter family and that’s it.” She answered, swallowing hard, and looked down at the floor with a heavy sigh.  “My mother left a note to my foster parents about my real father, saying he died long ago in a war.  The man Voldemort killed wasn’t really my father, but he was considered it, even though I don’t remember him.  I don’t remember her either, my foster parents told me these things.”

 

“Harry, would you care to do the honors?” Dumbledore asked, studying Harry, trying to gauge his reaction to all of this.

 

Harry looked up, his face set in stone.  “Voldemort’s real name is Tom Marvolo Riddle.” He said bluntly, looking at Kiersten.  “He was an orphan, raised in a Muggle orphanage, and has a tendency to kill off members of his family…or to use them.”

 

Kiersten’s eyes moved back and forth, her entire body beginning to tremble, and stood up as she shook her head, not wanting to believe it.  “No, that can’t be his name.  No, his name is Voldemort!  No, he can’t be…” She trailed off, dropping to her keens as the realization hit her like a ton of bricks.  “Tom Marvolo Riddle…was the man’s name my foster parents told me died in battle…my father…”

 

“Voldemort started out as a human too.” Harry continued, as if seeing a girl crying in the middle of the floor was an everyday occurrence.  “He murdered his dad, his grandparents…on both sides.  He’s half-Muggle, though he’d like everyone to believe otherwise.”

 

“That will be enough, Harry.”

 

Tears fell from Kiersten’s eyes as they splashed against the floor below as her heart shattered over and over in her chest.  She couldn’t be the daughter of the vilest being in the witch and wizarding world.  She couldn’t!  Kiersten couldn’t take it anymore and stood up, bolting out of Dumbledore’s office, shoving Harry down on his rear when he tried stopping her.  She was getting out of Hogwarts now, no matter what anyone else said or did.  She couldn’t stay here, knowing what she was made of, and that bastard’s blood ran through her veins.

 

Chapter 6

 

Before Kiersten could even get to the stairs, two armored knights stepped off their pedestals, and halted before her, blocking her path.

 

“Harry, if you could?”

“On it sir.” Harry sighed, rubbing his bum as he headed down to catch up with Kiersten.  “We need to talk.”

 

“No we don’t!” She shouted at him, tears spilling down her cheeks, and stunned the armored knights when they wouldn’t move as she bolted to the Gryffindor Common Room.  She gave the password and rushed inside, ignoring everyone, and ended up shoving Neville down on her way up the stairs to her chambers.  She had to pack and get out of there fast.  “Accio broom!” She called out, deciding going out the window would be best.

 

Harry was giving chase and grabbed the broom before it could reach her.

 

“Everyone to their rooms NOW.” Hermione ordered, using her Head Girl status.  “NOW.  You too Ronald.”

 

“And miss the action?” Ronald nodded meekly when she fixed him with a glare and disappeared as well.

 

“Running isn’t going to solve anything, unless of course, you’re planning on letting him use you some more.” Harry said from behind, having somehow once again gotten past the charmed stairs.

 

“Shut up!  Just shut your mouth right now, Harry!” She cried out at him, not needing him to bring this up right now when she was getting ready to make a run for it.  “It’s not your choice, it’s mine, and I’m leaving!  Hogwarts isn’t safe with me here!” She was trying to make him understand and summoned her broom again, setting it on the side, and started packing her things.  “Especially you, the Boy-Who-Lived.”

 

“And you think it’s any safer with me being here?  Common sense tells you no.  Voldemort’s made I don’t know how many attempts at killing me.  Guess what, hasn’t happened yet.  So I’d assume Hogwarts, with Dumbledore, is a safe bet.” He frowned.  “Accio broom.” He caught it and held on firmly.  “Running doesn’t fix things; it’ll only make them worse.”

 

“Stop it!  Just stop being the hero and leave me alone!  Don’t you get it?  He’s using me to get to you!” She shouted, tears spilling from her amber eyes, and turned around to stare out the window.  She was contemplating making a jump for it and ending her life once and for all, to splatter her blood, the blood of the Dark Lord, on Hogwarts’ property.  How ironic it would be.

 

As if once again sensing her thoughts, Harry crossed over and shut the window.  “He hasn’t got to me yet and if he’s going to use you, he’ll have to do one better.” He said flatly.  “He can’t even possess me properly without getting hurt.  If he possessed you, something tells me he’d let go right quick.”

 

“Stop reading my mind, damn it!” She hissed, knowing that’s the only way he knew what she’d been thinking.  “For once, Potter, this isn’t your fight.  This has nothing to do with you.  I’m the daughter of yours and everyone else’s worst enemy, do you understand?  You need to stay as far away from me as you possibly can and that can only happen by me leaving.” She explained, calm for once, though she was still trembling.

 

“You’re contradicting yourself, Kiersten.” Harry said, holding her still.  “It’s not my fight?  I think it is.  You leave and you’ll either end up in Voldemort’s hands or dead.  Then I’d have to come looking for you.  You’re stuck with me either way.  Face it now and let’s work this out together.”

 

“If I end up with Voldemort, it’s not your concern!  This has nothing to do with you!  And so what if I end up dead?” She spat angrily, shoving him away from her a good few feet, and started packing her things again.  “At least I won’t be living with the knowledge that I’m a murderer’s child, that I have his blood running through my veins, that he’s not constantly provoking my every thought and move.”

 

When he was shoved, Harry reacted on pure instinct.  “Petrificus Totalus!” He shouted, watching as her arms and legs snapped to her sides, and she fell over.  “Now,” He began kneeling over Kiersten’s stiff body.  “Let’s get this clear right now.  I CARE if you end up dead, Kiersten.  And so would Luna, your best friend, or have you forgotten her?  Being his daughter doesn’t make you him.  We’re all responsible for our choices.  You’ve been given the chance to fight him off, to keep him from your mind.  If you don’t take that chance, you’re a coward.”

 

Kiersten just glared at him, trying to move her immobile body, but it was impossible with the type of powers Harry possessed inside of him because of her father.  “Get away from me.” She whispered harshly, her body trembling from both fear and rage, wanting to rip his throat out, but she couldn’t with this ridiculous spell on her.

 

Harry backed away, not releasing the spell.  “I’m serious, Kiersten.  I’ve been fighting him my whole life and I’m still standing.  You’re going to give up after one round?” He shook his head sadly, waving his wand, and letting her up.  “What am I still fighting for if everyone gives up on me?” He whispered, turning his back on her.

 

“You’re fighting for yourself, Harry.  That should be enough.” She stated no malice or anger in her tone, just sheer and pure sadness.  “Ron and Hermione haven’t given up on you either.   I don’t belong here.  I’m going to end up just like him so it’s better to just leave so I don’t hex or use anymore unforbidden spells.” She turned from him and stared out the window, opening it again, and felt the tears slide down her cheeks as she felt her heart pumping the blood of her father, of Lord Voldemort, through her body.

 

“Ron and Hermione know that everyone is worth saving.” Harry said quietly, now sitting before the fireplace, staring at the dead embers.  He sighed heavily.  “Half the Wizarding world thinks I’m insane and the other half are too afraid to fight.  Fighting for myself?  I’m not fighting for myself, Kiersten.  I’m fighting because I’m the only one who can do it and without me, what’ll happen to everyone else?” It wasn’t arrogance, Harry was actually voicing, for the first time what had been on his mind since the first time he thought of giving up struck him.  He didn’t know if he could live with that kind of guilt, especially knowing what he did.

 

Sighing sadly, Kiersten knew he had a valid point and walked over, sitting on the bed beside him as he watched the flames in her fireplace she’d conjured up with a spell.  “There would be no hope in our world if you gave up, Harry.” She finally said raking a hand through her hair, and looked down at the floor, her hands clasped together tightly.  “You need to stay away from me so he can’t use me to get to you.  I’ll stay…if you agree to do that.” She was giving him an ultimatum.

 

“You really think that’ll work?” He didn’t look at her, just stared into the fire, the flames reflecting off his emerald eyes.  “You think just because I stay away, Voldemort is going to let it alone?  If that’s what you want, Kiersten, I’ll stay away.”

 

That’s not what she wanted, but it was the only way as far as she could see.  “Yes, that’s what I want, Harry.  Just leave me alone and live your own life with your friends.  Be happy.” She then stood up and placed her broom in the closet, knowing this was going to be extremely difficult to do, but she had no choice.  She was doing this to protect both Harry and herself from what her father was trying to do.

 

Tears instantly slid down her cheeks as she heard the door to her dormitory close, knowing Harry had left, listening to her for once.

 

“Goodbye Harry.” She whispered heartbrokenly and collapsed on her bed, allowing sobs to wrack through her entire body.

 

~!~

 

“Wot’s ‘oin on whith ‘oo an ‘iersten?” Ron asked the next morning at breakfast, his mouth crammed full of food.

 

“Not a thing.” Harry said truthfully.  He had moved them from their normal spot in the center of the table to the very end, just to give Kiersten the space she wanted.

 

“Dumbledore had the investigation on Cho dropped.”

 

Kiersten was sitting by herself, refusing to acknowledge anyone in the school besides the Professors.  She didn’t’ want to put anyone’s life in danger and knew that would happen if she hung out with anyone.  She felt so alone, violated, and her appetite was completely gone.  Tears kept coming to her eyes as she kept her nose in her book, hiding them, and finally couldn’t take it anymore.  She packed up her things and hastily rushed out of the Great Hall, not able to be in the same room as Harry.

 

Luna blinked when Kiersten walked right into her, dropping the potted plant she had been carrying.  “Hello.” She greeted, bending down to pick it up, watching as it shivered and seemed to fold inside itself.  “What’s wrong?” She asked staring directly at her friend’s tear streaked face.

 

“Nothing.” Kiersten muttered, not even helping Luna pick up her plant and brushed past her, heading outside.  She knew the only place she’d feel truly content and at peace was by the Black Lake, where she could cry and wallow by herself.  Kiersten felt horrible for treating Luna that way, but she couldn’t help it.  It was the only way to protect her from her father’s wrath.

 

“What’d you do Potter, curse another girlfriend?” Draco Malfoy sneered as he walked by, making sure to slap Harry upside his head.

 

“Oh great, just what I don’t need, another rumor about how I’m an abusive boyfriend.”

 

“You two didn’t even go out.” Hermione said flatly, glaring at the group of Ravenclaws who were staring.

 

“Harry, it’s everywhere in the school!” Ginny chirped as she sat down, Neville right behind her, and looked at him with pure concern in her eyes.  “Where’s your new girlfriend?” She asked, looking around, confused.

 

“Yeah, we want to meet the lucky lady in person!” Neville excitedly piped in, grinning from ear to ear, and kissed the top of Ginny’s head.

 

Harry tossed his hands into the air and stood up, storming out of the Great Hall.  Kiersten wanted him to stay away and the entire bloody school thought they were dating.  Go figure.

 

“They’re not dating.” Ron said, eyeing Harry’s plate of untouched food.

 

“Oh, honestly.” Hermione pushed it towards him with an exasperated sigh.

 

“I’m sorry, but it’s all over the school.  What did you expect us to do upon hearing it?  Pavarti told us after hearing it from Jameson.”  Ginny explained, Neville sitting next to her now that there was more room, and wrapped his arms around her.  “Do any of you know what’s really going on then?”

 

“My guess would be Harry is having major girl troubles.” Neville quipped, groaning when Ginny elbowed him in the stomach.

 

“You wouldn’t be wrong, Neville.” Hermione admitted, having heard the story-along with Ron-this morning from Harry.  “I guess they quarreled or something.” It wasn’t that much of a lie.

 

“She wants him to let her alone.” Ron added in what he thought was a helpful tone and wound up getting elbowed himself by Hermione for his efforts.

 

“Well then, why doesn’t Harry do that?  Surely there are tons of girls in the school who would want to date him?” Ginny asked, looking confused, and had a feeling there was a lot more to the story these two weren’t letting on.

 

“Yeah, unless there’s more to the story…” Neville trialed off when Hermione and Ron just cleared their throats awkwardly, and eyed them suspiciously.  “Spill it.   Now.” He ordered.

 

“We really can’t.” Hermione said flatly.  “It’s not any of our business.  If Harry and Kiersten want it bandied about, they’ll tell it themselves.” Ron shot his sister a warning look, telling them both to back off or else.

 

“Kiersten is upset.” Luna announced, dropping down across from them, looking for once focused.

 

“What was your first clue?” Ginny retorted, sighing when Hermione shot her a look, and immediately backed off, deciding to talk about something else.  “Why don’t we go find Harry and try to cheer him up?  He seems down.” She frowned, not liking that one of her dearest friends was this upset over a girl.

 

“I don’t think Harry really wants to be found right now.” Ron said with a sigh.  “He seems pretty torn up, let him be for a while.”  Hermione actually looked shocked by Ron’s sensitivity.  He looked defensive.  “What?  I’m not that big of a wart!”

 

Harry was outside, walking the rounds seemingly in a daze, his mind flitting from one thing to another and back again, wreaking havoc on his psyche.

 

Kiersten was sitting on the edge of the hill, her book bag behind her, just staring out into the Black Lake.  Tears were falling freely, splashing into the dark water that was several hundred feet below, but she didn’t care.  It was one of these moments where Kiersten wished she could fly away from this place, from everything, and just disappear.  She wiped her tears away, the wind gently whipping through her hair, and closed her eyes as she spread her arms out at length.  She just wanted one minute of pure peace and tranquility.

 

Harry dropped down on a ledge overlooking the Black Lake, dangling his feet off of it.  He stared out at the water, wishing he could just dive in and swim to the bottom never to come up again.  Maybe the Merpeople would let him live with them.  At the moment, anything was better than this.  He was tired of either having to push people away to save them or having them push him away for the same reasons.

 

Sighing heavily, Kiersten gently put her arms down to rest at her sides, wondering how in the name of Merlin her mother could end up with a man like Tom.  She shook her head, more tears falling, the beautiful sunset not making her feel any better.  Nothing would at this moment unless she was dead, which wouldn’t happen because of Harry, even though she told him to stay away from her.  With another sigh, she headed away from the hill and back up toward the school, knowing she had to study for an upcoming test.

 

Upon hearing a branch snap, Harry whirled around to see what it was, and watched Kiersten passing on the hill.  He was tempted to speak out and get her attention, but held his tongue.  Instead, he kept his piercing green eyes fastened on her, watching as she made her way towards the school.  He wondered how much more difficult things could get.

 

Once inside her dormitory, Kiersten shut herself out from everyone and cried herself to sleep, forgetting about her studies.  She was so lonely, so desperate for someone to hold her, to tell her it was going to be alright, that it was fine to have that monster’s blood running through her.  She looked up through blurred vision on her nightstand, seeing a picture of her deceased mother, and cried harder than she ever did in her life.  “Why?  Why would you do this to me?” She whispered heartbrokenly, shaking her head, and clutched her pillow tightly to her chest.

 

Chapter 7

 

“Um, Kiersten?” Hermione called out hesitantly around an hour later, poking her bushy head inside the room.  “I’m to tell you that I’ll be your new partner for your potions experiment with the Felix Felicis potion.” She stepped in, hearing the other girl crying.  “Kiersten, is…everything okay?”

 

“No, nothing is okay.” She stated between quiet sobs, clutching her pillow even tighter to her chest.  “When is it due?” She asked, slowly sitting up, wiping her pathetic tears away.  She wanted to focus on something else besides her father, Harry; anything besides those two would suffice.

 

“Next month, this is good because that’s how long it’ll take to brew.  You already have the supplies in Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom.” Hermione said kindly, procuring a handkerchief and passing it to Kiersten.  She had a feeling she knew what the tears were for, but didn’t say anything, knowing better than to push.

 

“That’s actually a project Potter and I was supposed to do together, but we can use them.  I don’t care.” She slowly stood up from the bed, wiping her tears away, and pulled her robes on as the tears just kept falling.  “Come on, let’s start it since we don’t have much time to waste.” With that, she walked out of the room.

 

“I know.” Hermione admitted, following her.  “Harry is the one who suggested I take his place since you two are…on the outs.” She said delicately, wringing her hands nervously.  “You were making the lucky potion together, now you and I are.  Snape has already given his consent on it.”

 

“Oh-yeah right.” She sounded distant, not really focused on the matter, and raked a hand through her hair.  “Hermione, just do it on your own if you wish.  I don’t need the extra credit.  Just…stay away from me.” She advised and walked away, tearing a hand through her hair this time as more tears fell.  This was going to be harder than she thought.

 

“Well I would,” Hermione began quietly.  “But Professor Snape is expecting us both to do it, not just one.” She stared at Kiersten’s retreating back and frowned.  “Kiersten, did you hear me?”

 

She didn’t listen to Hermione and simply walked away, knowing she’d either get Harry or force Ron to do it.  She couldn’t be partnered with anyone, not wanting to get too close to them to where her father could use them against her as leverage.  She sighed, her head beginning to throb, and decided a nice walk is what she needed.  ‘Maybe I should switch houses.’ She thought, groaning when she realized that was impossible.  “I’m screwed.”

 

~!~

 

“Cho’s out of the hospital ward.” Luna announced to Kiersten the following morning as they walked towards their respective classes, ignoring Kiersten’s demands that she be left alone.  “She swears up and down that you somehow stole Harry from her.  She’s really angry.” For once, Luna wasn’t acting loony.

 

“She can have him.” Kiersten muttered, not really interested in hearing about Cho at the moment, and kept walking even when Luna stopped.  Why couldn’t people just leave her alone?  That’s what she wanted was to be left completely alone so her father couldn’t hurt anyone.  She was protecting them; didn’t they understand that?  With a sigh, Kiersten headed off to her next class, ignoring Cho as they passed each other in the halls of Hogwarts.

 

Smirking, Cho turned around and walked up to Kiersten.  “I’m really sorry to hear about you and Harry.” She said, patting Kiersten on the shoulder.  Her eyes gleamed with satisfaction and triumph before she walked away again, joining her crowd of friends and disappeared.

 

Eyes glistening with tears, Kiersten just turned and ran down the hallways, allowing them to flow down her cheeks, not believing what was happening.  Her and Harry didn’t break up because they were never together!  Why did everyone insist on torturing her about this?  ‘Maybe it’s time I just run.’ She thought miserably and headed to her next class, wanting to get this day done and over with.

 

Professor Snape was waiting at the door for her and held out his arm, preventing her from entering his classroom.  “Miss Riddle, tonight you will join Mr. Potter and myself for your Remedial Potions class.” He said firmly, staring down at her.  He leaned down so they were almost nose to nose.  “The Headmaster is away for the evening and has asked that I begin your new lessons.”

 

Kiersten looked back at him through tear-filled eyes and stepped away from him.  “No, I’m not doing it.” She stated defiantly, squaring her shoulders, knowing it would hurt worse with Snape as her teacher.  “I’ll just wait for the Headmaster to return, sir.” She wasn’t about to let this happen, no bloody way in Hell!

 

“You don’t have a choice, Miss Riddle.” Snape said in a dangerous tone of voice.  “That’ll be ten points from Gryffindor and detention on Saturday.  Now find your seat before I make it twenty points and a month of detention.”

 

Harry damn near walked into Kiersten at that moment.  “Sorry!”

 

Something suddenly snapped inside Kiersten as she clenched her fists at her sides.  “FINE, DO IT, YOU EGOTISTICAL BASTARD!” She exploded, her face reddened, her entire body trembling with anger, not even caring if Harry just bumped into her.  She wasn’t about to be forced into doing something she wasn’t prepared for and had heard personally exactly how Snape treated his so called “special” students.

 

Everyone in class just gaped at her in shock.

 

Snape drew himself up to his full height, aware everyone was now waiting to see what he would do.  “Miss Riddle, kindly place yourself at the front of the class.  You will stand there during the duration of lessons- and might I remind you, this is a double class- then tonight you will begin your DETENTION.  Fifty points from Gryffindor and you’ll be spending every night for the rest of the term doing the most unpleasant things, I can assure you.  Be ready to disembowel toads.”

 

“GO SCREW YOURSELF, SNAPE!” She spat hatefully in return and rushed out of the classroom, not caring at the moment.  She just wanted out as the tears spilled down her cheeks, wondering what was going on with her.

 

That’s my girl.  That’s a VERY good girl.  Now get on your broom and come to me, Beautiful One.

 

The voice crooned to her, causing her to shake her head, refusing to do as it beckoned.  She knew she was probably going to be expelled for what she just pulled and it was all because of this damn voice in her head.  “STOP IT!!” She cried out once she arrived alone in the woods, dropping to her knees, and started sobbing violently.

 

“Nobody so much as twitch or you’ll all share the same fate as Miss Riddle.” Snape snarled, storming out of the dungeons, where his classroom was located.

 

“She’s lost her bloody mind!” Ron said, sounding half in awe, half in worry.

 

“If that isn’t the truth of it.” Harry murmured, tempted to chase after her.  He looked down to find Hermione’s hand on his wrist, as if she knew what was going through his head, and sighed.

 

Kiersten shook her head as she ran further into the woods, needing to get away from everything, and finally stopped when the voice just intensified in her mind as she curled up in a fetal position.  She breathed in and out heavily, trying to get the pain to stop, hearing footsteps.  “Please just stop, father.  I can’t take it anymore.” She pleaded, squeezing her hands around her head, and gripped her hair tightly in her hands.  “You already got me in trouble with Professor Snape.  Just leave me alone!” She cried out harder, trembling as she could feel him stab further inside her mind.

 

“You realize, Miss Riddle that it is not safe to be out here.” Snape said slowly, approaching her.  He frowned, crouching down and pressed his wand against her forehead, sighing before murmuring an incantation.  “Is that any better?”

 

The pain had stopped as the tears flowed from her eyes, causing her to slowly open them, and stared up at him, nodding as she burst out in a fit of sobs.  “I-I’m sorry…I-It w-wasn’t m-me…I-I w-would never…” She was crying so hard she was hiccupping, wrapping her arms around her legs, and shook her head back and forth, wondering what was happening to her.

 

Sighing, Snape helped her up, looking mildly disgusted with her tears, but didn’t say anything.  “Come on, back to the castle.  You need bed rest.  And tonight, we’ll start your lessons.  You need them desperately.” He sounded actually concerned, which he was.  He had never seen a possession this bad in a very, very long time.

 

“Please don’t punish the Gryffindor’s for what happened.  It was out of my control.” She pleaded with him softly as he guided her back to the castle, not able to stop trembling, feeling the voice lurking in the back of her mind.  He was there.  She could feel it and cried harder, burying her face in her hands.  This was the reason why she was keeping everyone, especially Harry, away from her.

 

“Blocking people out will only make it worse.  If he can’t use you, he’ll seek to bring you to him.” Snape said briskly, his hand wrapped firmly around Kiersten’s upper arm as he guided her to the castle.  “You’ll have to associate with someone.  Perhaps your friend Miss Lovegood?  There’s nothing in her mind that would interest the Dark Lord I’m sure.”

 

“But I don’t want to hurt her.” She murmured softly, the tears finally subsiding as they walked upstairs to her chambers, and knew she was going to get doused with a sleeping potion.  She sat down on her bed, her wand in her lap, and felt the Professor feeling around in her mind.  “I don’t want anyone hurt because of me, Professor.” She said, trying not to start crying again, but knew it was inevitable.  “Especially Harry Potter.”

 

“Potter is more than capable of taking care of himself, Miss Riddle.” Snape said, waving his wand and with a pop his black potions bag appeared on her dresser.  His profile to her, he took out several vials and began to mix them in a beaker.  “I’m mixing you something similar to a Draught of Peace.  It’ll calm you down, then we’ll talk before you sleep.” He explained, finally holding it out to her.

 

“T-talk?” She questioned, taking the vile he handed her, and with a deep breath downed it, coughing as it burned down her esophagus.  “Bloody Hell, what is that?” She demanded, coughing more, and slowly laid down, the potion already working wonders as she looked straight up at the ceiling.  “Harry…” She whispered before her eyes closed, allowing the potion to work its magic.

 

Snape watched as Kiersten relaxed under the potion, quirking an eyebrow.  “Harry?  What about him?” He asked, moving to mix the sleeping potion.  “You’re afraid for Harry.” He had a hard time saying Potter’s given name, but forced himself to do it. 

 

“Yes.  I’m afraid of what my…father…will do to him through me.” She softly answered, feeling more relaxed than she had in ages, and remained lying there.  “I-I don’t want him to get hurt and I know my father is planning something to get to him through me.  Does that make any sense?” She asked, raising an eyebrow, not really caring if it did or not, but didn’t want to sound like a complete idiot.

 

“It does.” Snape said quietly, lighting a contained fire under the beaker and letting it simmer, turning to face Kiersten.  “Harry has taken your…father, on before, many times and won.  The Dark Lord has even tried to possess him; did you know that?” He studied her face intently.

 

“No, I didn’t.” She answered softly, slowly sitting up, and looked back at Professor Snape with an incredulous look on her face.  “Just like this?” She questioned, not believing Harry wouldn’t tell her.  How could he let her go through this and not tell her that he’d gone through the exact same thing?  The thought made fresh tears sting her eyes, but she refused to let them fall.  “He didn’t tell me a thing about it.”

 

“I would imagine there’s a lot Potter hasn’t told you.” Snape was trying his hardest not to be biased because the girl needed honesty right now, not his hatred for Potter.  “He’s…He tries to keep quiet about his life because he gets enough attention as it is.  That and I would assume he doesn’t want to worry you anymore then you already are.”

 

“That only worries me further though.” She said angrily, though she was still calm due to the potion, and raked a hand through her hair hastily.  “If he’s gone through this exact same thing, then he could’ve helped me prevent this before it got so out of hand.” She sighed bitterly, clenching her fists tightly, her nails digging into her palms.

 

“I believe Mr. Potter has tried to help you.” Snape said, checking his potion.  “He urged you to seek Dumbledore the minute you discovered something was wrong.” He eyed her shrewdly.  “How do you expect him to trust you when you don’t obviously trust him?”

 

“How can I trust someone who clearly wants to keep things form me, such as what you just told me, Professor?  I have Voldemort’s blood running through me and he’s trying to use me to get to Harry.  I can’t trust anyone right now to be blunt.” She stated, crossing her arms in front of her chest, and raked a hand through her hair.  “My trust for him didn’t exactly soar when he refused to tell me about his past with Voldemort either so this isn’t just my fault.” She was being brutally honest, due to the potion, and refused to meet Snape’s eyes.

 

Snape nodded, making a clucking noise with his tongue.  “Maybe he hasn’t revealed all that much information to you, Miss Riddle, because he knows the Dark Lord is trying to use you to get to him?  Maybe he’s trying not to give you the-pardon the phrase-ammo the Dark Lord needs?  Have you considered this?”

 

She nodded, understanding that, but Voldemort couldn’t use the fact that Harry had gone through the same thing she was!  She sighed heavily and leaned back against the wall, folding her hands in her lap.  “Thank you…for whatever you did in the woods.  You’re not as bad as people say you are.” She said with a small smile and yawned, suddenly feeling exhausted from the potion.  “Is there anything else you wanted to talk about, Professor?”

 

Snape was mixing the brew now.  “Yes, as a matter of fact, I had one more question for you.” He said slowly.  “When the Dark Lord is in your mind, what does he tell you to do?  What does he make you feel?” He turned back to her, the potion clasped firmly in one hand, his eyes meeting hers.

 

She looked up to meet his eyes directly, knowing she couldn’t pull away, and took a deep breath.  “He calls me Beautiful One, tells me to do things, and it’s almost as if I can’t control my own body at times, such as using the Cruciatus Curse on Cho Chang.  That was him and then when I exploded in your classroom earlier, that was him as well.  He knows you’re going to try to help me and he told me that I was a very good girl for doing his bidding.” She teared up at the mere memory and lowered her head.  “I’m deeply sorry, Professor, I would never do such a thing…”

 

“Most students wouldn’t.” Snape said dryly.  “Here Miss Riddle, drink this.  It will put you to sleep for a good twenty-four hours, by which time, the Headmaster will be back.  Then you will begin working directly with him to cut this connection.” Snape got a wondering gleam in his eyes, suddenly looking curious.

 

“Thank you, sir.” She murmured softly, taking the potion from him, and downed it, trying not to feel sick at the taste.  She slowly laid back down, the potion working wonders, and before her eyes closed, she pressed her hand to her heart, murmuring one name.  “Harry…” With that, she fell into unconsciousness, into darkness.

 

Chapter 8

 

“Potter, a word.” Snape demanded when he finally found the annoying boy.

 

Wondering what he’d done now, Harry followed Snape, and replied, “Yes, sir?”

 

“Maybe you ought to consider opening up to Miss Riddle.”

 

Harry could only watch as Snape walked away, scratching the back of his head.  “What the Bloody Hell is going on here?” He muttered under his breath, heading for the Common Room.

 

~!~

 

Later that night, the Gryffindor house was silent, not even a mouse scurrying.  Her footsteps creaked against the floors as she slowly headed upstairs to the boy’s dormitory, smirking as she murmured a spell to kill the spell that prevented girls from entering the room and vice versa.  She crept into the room she knew was Harry’s, who shared with Ron, and knew the boy wouldn’t’ wake up.  He was too busy mumbling about spiders, causing her to smirk.  Her body was clad in a white nightgown, her long, black hair flowing down her back in waves, and walked over to where Harry slept comfortably in his bed.  Her eyes raked him in hungrily as she slowly climbed on the bed, straddling his waist, and gazed down at him longingly.  When his green eyes shot open, her hand clamped over his mouth, using her other hand to press a finger to her lips, silencing him.

 

“Kiersten?” Harry mumbled against her finger, watching as she cast a silencing charm around the bed, the draperies pulling shut about them.  He frowned, his tired mind struggling to catch up with his rapidly awakening body.  “What-what are you doing?” He managed to demand, his voice husky from sleep as he caught her by the arms, staring up at her.

 

“Loving you.” She simply replied, running her hands up his chest, her amber eyes darkening as she began grinding against him on the bed.  “Opening up to you.  I’ve missed you, Harry.” She purred, kissing his neck, her hands traveling down his strong arms, and smiled when he wrapped them around her.  “I’m apologizing to you the only way I see fit.” She murmured in his ear before flicking his earlobe with her tongue.  “But I only have an hour.”

 

“Why an hour?” Harry asked, catching her hands in his to keep her from touching him.  Not that he was really complaining, but it just seemed so odd that after telling him to stay away, she was…well, all over him.  “Kiers, what happened tonight?  What’s changed your mind?”

 

“I’ve just came to my senses, Harry.  I want to be with you in every way.” She replied, a frown marring her features, and ran her hand to his cheek, gently caressing it.  “I’m sorry about everything.  Can’t we just forget it ever happened and start from scratch?” She asked hopefully, her amber eyes pleading with him, while her hands roamed his body hungrily.

 

“Well yeah, that’d be great, but…” Harry groaned, it was physically paining him to do this, but he had no choice.  He moved so Kiersten was sitting on the bed, moving himself to a sitting position.  “But I want to take it slow.  I rushed into things with Cho Chang and you see what a psycho prat she turned out to be.  I really want to get to know you before…other things.”

 

Kiersten frowned upon hearing that, crossing her arms in front of her chest, and simply nodded as she bit her bottom lip.  “Very well, but I’m not Cho Chang, Harry.  I’ll take it as slow as you want, but know this,” She paused briefly, locking eyes with him.  “I’m not a very patient person.” She then kissed him, pressing her body against his, wanting to drive him to the brink of insanity before finally pulling away and letting him get back to sleep.

 

“Oh bloody Hell.” Harry groaned, rolling onto his stomach in hopes that’d kill off the erection he was now sporting.  “Bloody Hell.” He repeated gruffly.

 

~!~

 

“You look like you didn’t sleep at all?” Ron commented the next morning.  Harry could only grunt in response.

 

“Has anyone seen Kiersten?” Ginny asked promptly as they all entered the Great Hall for breakfast, not seeing her anywhere, and sighed when Harry just shot a glare at her.  “What?  I was just worried after what she pulled in Professor Snape’s class yesterday.  Though, I heard he didn’t take those points from her and revoked the detention, so unlike Snape.”

 

“Maybe something came up.” Harry muttered, digging into his breakfast with gusto, making it quite clear he didn’t want to talk right now.  He’d been up for hours, in the prefect’s bathroom, in a tub full of ice cold water.  Factor in Moaning Myrtle harassing him, he was not a happy boy.

 

“I just can’t believe what she did in class.  Does anyone have any idea what’s going on with her?” Ginny asked curiously, looking at the Golden Trio, and sighed heavily when they all just shot her a back off look.  She did just that and picked at her food, not bringing it up in the conversation again.

 

“Where is our moody friend, by the way?” Ron asked under his breath.

 

“Probably inventing new ways of torturing me.” Harry muttered, stabbing at his eggs.

 

“Oh come off it, those eggs never did you harm.”

 

“Ron, I’ll stab you next.”

 

“Harry, what’s wrong?” Hermione demanded as soon as she heard that.  “You’re acting…like a stiff.” She frowned at him.

 

“MERLIN’S BALLS, LEAVE ME ALONE!”

 

“Whoa, calm down, Harry.  Hermione didn’t do anything to you!” Neville snapped, not appreciating what he saw transpire, and held his hand up when Ginny went to interject.  “I mean it, apologize to her right now.” He ordered, looking directly into Harry’s green eyes, not backing down.  The Boy-Who-Lived or not, he wasn’t going to treat a friend like trash just because things weren’t going his way.  That was life.

 

“Neville, mind your own bloody business.  I want everyone to quit asking me what is wrong and let me eat my bloody breakfast in peace, is that too much to ask?” Harry demanded in a cold tone of voice, his eyes narrowed.

 

Ron looked back and forth between Hermione and Harry before punching Harry in the nose.  Once he helped Harry back up onto the bench, he looked at Neville, and growled, “Let him alone.”

 

Ginny grumbled under her breath as Harry proceeded to punch Ron in the face before stalking out of the Great Hall.  “Great, that did a lot of good.” She muttered, collecting her books and walked out, not waiting for Neville.  She was too angry with him to really care at the moment and wondered if Harry was going to be alright or not.

 

Hermione eyed Ron sympathetically and asked, “Want me to heal it?”

 

“Considering I got it defending you?” He managed to get out, spitting out a mouthful of blood.  The blood now flowing down the back of his throat. 

 

“My poor knight in shining…robes.” Hermione chortled, leaning over to fix the break with her fingers.


“OW!”

 

~!~

 

Later on that night, Kiersten slowly opened her eyes, rubbing the sleep from her eyes and tried adjusting her eyesight to look at the clock.  She seen it was after eight and sighed, knowing at exactly eight the previous night, she’d fallen into the deep slumber Snape’s potion put her under.  Slowly sitting up to regain feeling in her limbs, Kiersten stretched her sore limbs and shakily stood up, walking over to the window and peered out of it.  The sun was gone, causing her to sigh sadly, and knew she had to go see Professor Dumbledore immediately before the voice of her father came back.  Without thinking about it, Kiersten changed her clothes, which consisted of jeans and a sweatshirt, and rushed out the door, not even worried about the classes she’d missed that day.

 

“Hello.” Cho Chang said sweetly in passing, tossing her black hair over her shoulder as she continued on her way down the stairs.

 

Professor Dumbledore was standing outside of the stone gargoyle, waiting for her.  “Before we go up, how are you feeling?” He asked, peering down at her intently.

 

“I’m feeling alright, Professor.” She answered truthfully, raking a hand through her black hair, and shoved her hands in the pockets of her sweatshirt.  “Shall we?” She gestured toward his gargoyle, knowing whatever pain she was about to go through would be worth it.

 

“We shall.  Chocolate cherries.” He murmured the password and stepped into the revolving stairs.  He smiled down at Kiersten, humming a Muggle commercial ditty under his breath.  “Professor Snape told me of what happened yesterday.  I hope you’ve come prepared for a hard night, Miss Riddle because unfortunately, it’s imperative you learn how to block your mind to Voldemort as quickly as possible.”

 

“I understand sir and I’m ready.” Kiersten responded, knowing this was going to be the most painful experience of her life, but it would be worth it.  That’s what she kept telling herself as they arrived in Dumbledore’s office, where the lessons would start.  She sat down in a chair and waited while Dumbledore got everything situation, keeping silent.  When he asked if she was ready, all she could do was nod, not trusting her voice to answer.

 

~!~

 

A while later, a figure stood over Harry’s bed, a ghostly smile on her lips, and walked over as she once again straddled his waist.  A gasp sounded from her lips when Harry’s hands automatically caught her waist, causing her to press a hand to her racing heart, the silence charms already installed as the curtain drew closed around them again.  “Hello again.” She greeted, running a finger down his bare chest.

 

“Hello.” Harry greeted tersely, not about to suffer throughout the night again.  “How come you didn’t’ show up for any of your classes today?”

 

“That doesn’t matter.  What matters is I’m here now.” She purred at him with a grin, her eyes glinting wickedly in the moonlight, and passionately kissed is lips, ignoring his tone completely.  She ran her hands down his sides and smirked when he finally gave into temptation.  She had him right where she wanted and was going to take full advantage of it.

 

~!~

 

Dumbledore gestured for her to get to her feet.  “You need to keep me out of your mind, repel me.  Use any spell you can think of-legal ones, please-and block me.  You will also need to make the attempt to direct your mind to repel mind as well.  Understood?”

 

“Yes.” She replied and shrieked out in pain when Dumbledore entered her mind with the spell, flying back in the chair, and tried blocking him out as her visions went throughout her, tears pouring down her cheeks.

 

Dumbledore stopped the attack, looking mildly curious but didn’t comment.  “Focus Miss Riddle, focus.  Don’t become so immersed in your memories that you forget you’re not the only one viewing them.  Again?”

 

“Yes…” Kiersten breathed out, sweat pouring down her face, and looked at Dumbledore as he attacked her mind again.  She gripped the armchairs, trying to focus on fighting it, and suddenly felt her eyes widen as they turned blood red.  “You think this will work, Albus?  I THINK NOT!” It wasn’t her voice; it was Voldemort himself.

 

If the appearance of Voldemort shocked Dumbledore, he didn’t show it.  “I believe, Tom that it will be quite effective in days to come.  Tell me, how are you these days?  Possessing the minds of innocent little girls hardly seems befitting a Wizard of your caliber.”

 

“You mind your manners, Dumbledore, for she’s not just any little girl.  She’s MY daughter, my flesh and blood!” Voldemort cackled through his daughter, causing Kiersten to stay perfectly still, and pointed at him as her eyes gleamed back amber.

 

“STOP IT THIS INSTANT, FATHER!” She shrieked, dropping to her knees, and held her head as the pain seared, causing her to cry out as more tears flowed down her cheeks.  “STOP IT!!!” She was in agonizing pain and wished Harry was there as she battled her father.  Harry.  The pain was going away as she started thinking of him, of his eyes, of their friendship, of her love for him and nodded as she opened her own, which were pure amber gold now.  “You won’t win, Father.  I know your weakness now.” She’d read Voldemort’s mind and knew exactly how to block him out…somewhat.

 

Dumbledore took advantage of this lapse on Voldemort’s part and a jet of soft gold light encased Kiersten, blocks in her mind automatically going up.  He studied her thoughtfully, moving to sit behind his desk.  “What just happened, Miss Riddle?” He asked in a mild tone.

 

“I-I think I know how to block him out now, sir.” She softly replied, breathing heavily, and let a small smile appear on her face.  “I think I know exactly how to do it.” She slowly stood up, dusting herself off, and knew it wouldn’t work fully, but it would put her father in fear of going into her mind if the boy who took his powers invaded it.

 

“That’s a good thing, Miss Riddle.” Professor Dumbledore said slowly, curious to know what she had used against Voldemort.  “Might I ask as to what you did?  What was it that drove him away?” He folded his fingers together, staring at her over the tops of his half-moon shaped glasses.

 

“It was Harry.  I thought of Harry and he immediately backed down.” She answered without hesitation, finally standing shakily on her feet, a triumphant smile on her face as her eyes glittered with gold specks.  “My father fears Harry in ways you don’t understand, sir.  I managed to look inside his mind when I started thinking of Harry and all that’s in there is that night replaying over and over when the Boy-Who-Lived singlehandedly took his powers from him.”

 

Dumbledore didn’t comment for the longest time.  He just studied her thoughtfully.  The only student he had really given his confidences too would be Harry and for the time being, he wasn’t planning on changing that.  “Voldemort fears Harry because Harry has something Voldemort neither understands or wants.  Do you know what this is?”

 

“No sir, I do not.” Kiersten answered, looking more confused than ever, and thought it had something to do with power.  That’s all Voldemort wanted was power, even she knew that.  She raked a hand through her hair, wondering if Professor Dumbledore would confide in her as to what Harry had that Voldemort feared immensely, and just sat silently, waiting.

 

“Harry’s ability to love.” Dumbledore said simply.  “Voldemort loves nothing, not one person.  He doesn’t have friends nor does he want them.  The closest thing resembling affection he displays is to his snake, Nagini.  He underestimates the power of love, the magic such a simple thing as love can give.  Do you understand?”

 

Kiersten smiled softly and nodded, completely understanding that.  “I don’t think anyone will ever truly understand the power of love, sir.” She murmured, standing up, and raked a hand through her hair as she walked over to stare out the window.  As long as she kept Harry in her thoughts, deep in her heart, Voldemort would never consume her fully again, just in certain situations.  Maybe now, for a little while, she could finally live in peace and be with Harry, if he still wanted her.

 

~!~

 

Exactly one hour later, Kiersten had bid Harry farewell, and walked out of the dormitory, knowing he wouldn’t sleep no more.  She giggled wickedly as she twirled a strand of black hair around her finger before heading out of the Gryffindor house, watching to make sure nobody was watching her do so.  She didn’t’ see Hermione catch her as she headed down the hallway, a triumphant smile on her lips.

 

Chapter 9

 

Harry smiled slightly when he seen Kiersten coming down the stairs for breakfast and halted, waiting for her.  “Can I ask you something?” He asked amicably, then continued on anyway.  “Can I ask why you don’t seem to want anything to do with me during the day?  I mean, I can understand you don’t want people to know about…you know, but would it hurt you to say hello?”

 

Kiersten looked at him completely dumbfounded, blinking rapidly, and raked a hand through her long black hair.  “Harry, what are you talking about?” She asked softly, keeping her voice down, and stared at him completely confused.  “I haven’t seen you since that day in Professor Snape’s class when I snapped.” She explained, the truth shining in her amber colored eyes.

 

Harry frowned, looking hurt.  “Kiersten, you’ve been coming to my room every night.” He said, keeping his voice down as well.  “Why are you…” He sighed.  “I get it, you’re embarrassed, right?  Look, maybe you shouldn’t come tonight.  I didn’t mean to make this more than what it is.”

 

Now she was angry, not believing he was accusing her of something she didn’t do.  “Harry, I was in Professor Dumbledore’s study all night trying to stop my father from overtaking my mind, body and soul!” She shouted at him, not caring who was watching, and glared at him when he just stared at her blankly.  “I don’t know what the bloody Hell you’re talking about, but whoever came to your room was CERTAINLY not me!  If you don’t believe me, as Professor Snape AND Dumbledore.  They’ll stand up for me.”

 

Harry looked like he was about to hurl, his face going deadly white then to green then bright red, and finally back to white.  “Oh Merlin…” He whispered, looking sick.  “Oh Merlin, oh bloody Merlin…” He started to physically shake, wondering if he was going mad or not.

 

Tears were filling her eyes as Kiersten stumbled back from him, beginning to tremble as well, her lips pursed tightly together.  “Thank you.  Thank you for telling me before I went any further with this.” She then turned and fled out of the Great Hall, not able to look at him without feeling physically sick as the tears streamed down her cheeks.  What the Hell was she going to do now that Harry had found someone else?

 

Harry blinked, chasing after her.  He finally caught her just outside the Great Doors.  “Kiersten, wait a minute.  What do you mean?  I thought it was YOU.  Somebody else was…” He groaned, slapping his face. “I’m a damn fool.  You don’t even like me…” He looked forlorn.  He had known something was up.

 

“Just leave me alone!  You have no bloody idea how hurt I am right now!  No, I don’t like you, Harry!  I love you, alright?  I bloody love you and for you to accuse me of sneaking into your dorm…” She shook her head after yelling at him, backing away, and snatched her arm out of his grasp, feeling more tears stream down her cheeks freely.  “Just stay away from me, Potter.  I mean it, stay away from me.” She then turned and walked away, one big heartbroken mess.

 

“Hey wait!” Harry leaped forward, grabbing her arm for a second time.  “Don’t I ever get a say in any of this?  Why do you insist on always putting me in a spot and then walking away?  I THOUGHT whoever it was, was YOU.  You think I’d let just some girl into my bed?  I honestly thought she was you, Kiersten.”

 

“Why would you think it was me?” She asked, still sounding so confused, and finally turned fully around to face him, to stare into those green eyes that made her father scarce from her mind.  “I told you stay away from me so why would I deliberately provoke you, Harry?” She raked a hand through her hair, tears stinging her eyes.  “I don’t know who was in your room, but it wasn’t me.” She looked down now, not able to look at him, feeling both sick and ashamed.

 

“I thought she was you because she looked identical to you.” Harry said softly.  “She looked just like you, talked like you…Everything about her was you.” Harry looked like he was about to throw himself off a bridge.  “I even asked her about it, since you’d said to keep clear, and she said she’d changed her mind.  I was…I don’t know, I was so happy you wanted to be with me that I guess I let myself hope and discarded everything else.”

 

“It wasn’t me, Harry.  I was either sleeping or with Dumbledore trying to fight my father.” She softly said, tears pouring down her cheeks, and looked up at him as their eyes locked for a split second.  “I have to go…I have so much to catch up on for class.  I’ll see you around.” She softly said, patting his shoulder and walked away, finally allowing tears to fall down her cheeks as a few splashed on the floor below in the hallway.

 

Harry slumped back against the stone wall, wondering what the Hell had happened.  How could he have been fooled like this?  Then he felt anger welling up inside of him.  He clenched and unclenched his fists.  He was going to find out which unfortunate slag had done this and make her pay.  His green eyes narrowed, wondering who would have the balls to do something like this.  The brains.  First of all, he need to talk to his best mates.  Then with Ginny and catch up on the girls’ gossip.  If someone was this stupid, most likely she’d be bragging about it.

 

Later on that night, when everyone was sleeping again, the figure crept up the stairs to the boy’s dormitory, a smirk on her lips.  She knew Harry had a feeling she wasn’t really Kiersten, but that wouldn’t stop her from getting one more session in with him.  She gasped when a voice sounded behind her, feeling a wand sticking in her side, and couldn’t mistake that voice as anyone other than Hermione Granger.

 

“Oh, sorry Kiersten, thought you were someone else.” She apologized, smiling.  “Come sit with me.” She linked her arm with Kiersten’s.

 

Kiersten had no choice, but to join Hermione on the couch, wondering if everybody was awake tonight because the Common Room was bursting with students of that house.

 

Harry dropped down by her, smiling.  “I’m so glad you’re here, I wanted to talk to you.” He said, beaming brightly.

 

“Oh?”

 

“Yeah, I wanted to ask you a…intimate question.”

 

She smiled upon hearing that, her undivided attention on him.

 

“What the bloody Hell is a disgusting slag like you doing in MY bed, in OUR Common Room?” He demanded, standing up, wand aimed at her throat along with Hermione and Ron’s.

 

“Ginny, go fetch McGonagall and let her know we caught someone illegally using Polyjuice Potion as well as trying to enter Harry’s room, possibly a death eater, ask her to send for a Dementor.” Hermione said coldly, knowing Ginny knew that last bit was complete rubbish, but wanting to scare this little slag a bit for what she put Harry through.

 

Kiersten could hear the commotion from her chambers and slowly sat up in bed, wearing a black nightgown, and raked a hand through her hair as she yawned.  She was going to KILL whoever had woken her up!  Standing up, Kiersten pulled her robe on and headed downstairs, her hair looking wild around her face, and stopped dead in her tracks by what she saw.  The fake Kiersten was sitting on the couch, tears streaming down her cheeks, pleading with them to release her. 

 

“Why is it that when I FINALLY can get some decent rest, some slag has to go and ruin it?” She asked almost conversationally, though a deadly tone was in her voice and walked over, aiming her wand as she glared hatefully at the imposter.  “You have three seconds to tell me who you really are before I blast you into the next century, slag!”

 

“Don’t!  I’m sorry!”

 

“Not yet you’re not.” Harry growled, not removing his wand.  “Now the LADY asked you-SLAG-a question.  Who.  Are.  You.” He emphasized each word by jabbing her with the wand.

 

“Cho!  I’m Cho!”

 

“Cho the ho!” Someone in the back let out.

 

Kiersten heard that and slowly backed away, feeling her father trying to overcome her, and closed her eyes as visions of Harry entered, quickly shunning him out.  She opened them a few moments later and watched as Cho changed back into herself, glaring hatefully back at her.  “It’s sad how you had to change into someone else just to get what you wanted.  You WILL pay for this, Cho, mark my words.  Get her out of here.” She demanded and turned her back on the slag, wiping the angry tears away from her eyes, and had to press her hand against the wall to keep her balance.

 

“No.  Hold her here until McGonagall comes.” Harry ordered gravely.

 

“Using Polyjuice Potion without a license is VERY illegal.  I think Cho is facing some prison time.” Hermione added helpfully. 

 

Cho burst out in tears upon hearing that.

 

“Oh come off it Chang, everyone knows what a heartless bitch you are!”

 

Kiersten couldn’t even look at the slag that changed into her and took Harry in his own bed.  She couldn’t take it and ran from the room, up the stairs to her chambers, and collapsed on the floor on her knees as the sobs overtook her body.  She couldn’t believe what lengths Cho went through and gripped her hair in her hands, trying to stop the visions from going through her mind.  “Just focus…” She whispered to herself, not wanting her father to regain control.

 

“I’m going to check on her.” Harry said to Hermione and Ron.  “Make sure the slag doesn’t escape.”

 

“I did it for you Harry, for us!” Cho cried, watching him head up the stairs.

 

“Right, keep telling yourself that, Cho.” Harry called over his shoulder, knocking on Kiersten’s door moments later.

 

Kiersten slowly looked up at the door, facing it, and stood up on shaky knees as she turned her back, looking out the window.  “Come in.” She called out gruffly, gripping the windowsill with her head lowered, trying to think of happy memories with Harry, trying to keep her father out completely.

 

“Is he inside your head again?” Harry asked softly, walking over to stand behind her.  When Kiersten just nodded, he placed his hands on her shoulders, staring out the window over her head.  “Start building stacks of books in your mind if you have too, that’s what Hermione tells me.” He whispered, wanting to help.

 

Kiersten shook her head, sniffling a little, and slowly turned around to face him, staring into his green eyes.  “No, what helps me is standing right in front of me, Harry.” When he looked confused, she sighed, running her hand down his cheek with the back of it.  “It’s you.  Whenever I think of you, he goes away.  You’re my cure and before you say anything, I don’t blame you for what happened with Cho.  None of this is your fault and I’m sorry for overreacting the way I did today.  I had no right doing that to you.”

 

“I blame myself, I should’ve known better.” Harry said, rubbing his thumbs in little circles on her arms. 

 

“Harry?  Kiersten?  Professor McGonagall took Cho away and she said the Headmaster needs to see you both immediately.” Came Hermione’s voice through the door.

 

“Why do we always get interrupted?”

 

“I have no idea.” Kiersten replied, a ghost of a smile on her lips, and knew whatever Dumbledore wanted was extremely important.  “Come on.” She murmured and walked away from him, heading downstairs, nodding at Hermione and Ron.  “Thank you for what you did, Hermione.  I appreciate it.” She then walked out of the Common Room and headed toward Dumbledore’s office, wondering what was going on.

 

Professor Dumbledore was waiting in his study, behind his desk.  Professor Snape was standing off to the side, looking grim.  Professor McGonagall came in a moment later.

 

“Miss Chang has been put in a room by herself, the Ministry will be arriving shortly.” She announced promptly, her pointy hat on her head as always.

 

Kiersten just nodded, her eyes lowered to the floor, and wrapped her arms around herself.  The things Cho must’ve done as her to Harry…she didn’t want to think about it, it was making her sick to her stomach.  “Thanks.” She murmured, walking over to stare out the window, and could feel the anger build inside of her.  She wanted Cho to pay and if the Ministry wouldn’t do it, then she would be forced to take matters into her own hands.  She just hoped it didn’t come to that.

 

“So, what’re we up here for then?” Harry asked, breaking the uncomfortable silence.

 

“Professor Snape had an idea, an idea that if it works, would keep Voldemort out of young Kiersten’s mind.” Dumbledore announced in a slow voice, his blue eyes moving onto her.

 

Kiersten spun around when she heard that, her eyes wide, tears shining in them from everything she’d gone through lately.  “W-What are you talking about, Professor?” She demanded softly, looking over at Severus, and then back at Dumbledore, dragging a hand through her hair.  She thoughts she’d won the battle partially with Voldemort, her father, but not fully apparently.

 

Professor Snape studied her shrewdly, his black eyes flickering onto Harry briefly before returning to rest on Kiersten.  “The Dark Lord cannot possess Potter’s mind anymore.  The blood flowing through Potter’s veins carries magical protection thanks, in short, to his mother dying for him.  Love, simply put.  Do you understand so far, Miss Riddle?”

 

Of course, but what does that have to do with anything?” She asked, looking genuinely confused as she stared at Professor Dumbledore, looking for the answers she desperately searched for.  This was almost too much for her to bear, but she was going to somehow get through it as she wrapped her arms around herself.  First her father, then Cho, now this.  What more could go wrong?

 

“Have you ever heard of the Muggle term ‘blood transfusion’?”

 

Harry-born and raised with Muggles-blanched.  “Wait a minute here, you want to drain my blood and put it in her?”

 

“Crudely described, but yes.”

 

Kiersten blinked back at them in shock, not believing what she was hearing, and slowly began backing up as more tears filled her eyes.  “No, I’m not doing that.  Are you three out of Merlin’s MIND?!” She shouted in surprise, looking over at Harry, and then back at Severus.  “No absolutely not!”

 

“Why not?” Dumbledore asked politely, as if they were discussing the weather or maybe a new fashion trend.  “What have you to lose?”

 

“Potter’s blood will protect you, girl, don’t be foolish.”

 

“W-What about him though?” She asked, scared for the boy who had somehow stolen her heart, and raked a hand through her red hair.  “I don’t understand how this could work without one of us getting hurt.” The last thing she wanted to do was to have Harry hurt on her account.

 

Harry decided it would be best for him to take over explaining.  “It’s a standard Muggle procedure, Kiersten.” He said soothingly, though the idea was a bit scary.

 

“Mr. Potter would be fine, if that’s what you’re worried about.  A simple Blood Replenishing potion will take care of him.

 

“Well Miss Riddle?”

 

Chapter 10

 

What was she supposed to say?

 

How could she put Harry through this procedure?

 

“I can’t.” She finally whispered, taking a few deep breaths to calm down, and turned around as she stared out the window.  “I will use what I have against my father.  It’s worked so far…” She knew she was being foolish, but this was her fight, not Harry’s, and she wasn’t going to let them use his blood to protect her.

 

“Why not?” Harry demanded indignantly.  “If it’ll keep him out, then do it.  It’s not like I’ll die or lose the protection myself, Kiersten.” He walked over to take her arms gently in his arms, staring down into her amber eyes.  “Do it.” He urged softly.

 

Before she could answer, the flames in Dumbledore’s fireplace lit bright green, and Minister Fudge stepped out, looking haphazardly upset.  She bit her bottom lip and just stared up into his green eyes, deciding they’d have to finish this later on, and turned around to face the Minister of Magic.  She hoped Cho got exactly what was coming to her and knew she’d have to answer questions about her whereabouts when Cho had used the Polyjuice Potion and seduced Harry.

 

“Well Dumbledore, where is she?” Fudge demanded irritably.

 

“Locked in a classroom, as much for her protection as anyone else’s.” Dumbledore replied serenely.  “Miss Chang illegally used Polyjuice Potion to pass herself off as Miss Riddle.”

 

“Whatever for?”

 

Kiersten’s face turned red as she looked down, her black hair framing her face, not able to speak at the moment.  She took a glance at Harry, who was almost red, but it wasn’t from embarrassment, it was from anger.  She didn’t blame him, she was angry too, but knew if she allowed the anger to consume her, her thoughts of Harry would vanish and her father would once again seize control of her mind, body and soul.

 

“Because she was trying to…seduce me.” Harry said flatly, looking like he’d rather eat his own tongue then say this, especially to the Minister of Magic.

 

Fudge stared at Harry for a long, hard moment and finally asked, “Any witnesses?”

 

“The entire Gryffindor House.” Professor McGonagall answered instantly.

 

“Miss Riddle and Mr. Potter will of course have to write statements.”

 

“I already have mine written, sir.” Kiersten stated, walking over, and handing it to him.  The fine black lettering and print showed perfectly on the parchment as she stepped back, raking a hand through her hair, and went to stare out the window again.  Her part was done, thank Merlin, now she had to focus on what to do about this insane idea of Professor Snape’s.  She wasn’t doing it and had to figure out a way to convince Harry not to go through with it too.  That was going to be easier said than done.

 

Harry sighed, accepting the parchment and quill he was handed, and quickly wrote his own.  He blushed as he glossed over the encounters and whatnot, finally signing it and handing it to Fudge.

 

“Right then, my Aurors are collecting Miss Chang as we speak, this will be dealt with accordingly.  Good night.” Fudge disappeared just as rapidly as he had come.

 

“Well, that went well.” Kiersten muttered under her breath, never taking her eyes from the window, and stared out at the moon and stars with a heavy sigh. Why did her mother have to conceive with the evilest man in their world?  It was just her luck as she shook her head, knowing Harry would be on her like white on rice about the idea.  She wasn’t shocked when she turned around only for him to be in her face again.

 

Harry shook his head, almost looking disappointed as he turned away from her.  He couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t take the opportunity.  Maybe she liked the connection.  He tossed himself into a chair, staring down at the floor.

 

“Miss Riddle?” Dumbledore prodded gently.

 

“I said no.” Kiersten stated once more, glaring back at Dumbledore for the first time, and then back at Harry.  Why couldn’t he understand that she didn’t want him sacrificing himself for her?  Mixing their blood would eternally bind them together and that thought scared Kiersten to death.  With a heavy sigh, she simply shook her head sadly back at him and walked out of Dumbledore’s office, knowing nothing more needed to be said.

 

“Stubborn isn’t she?”

 

“Noticed that too, have you?”

 

“Now, now Harry.”

 

Harry shrugged, standing up.  “Not my problem, she wants her Da stuck in her head, that’s on her.” He stated, finally giving up for the time being.

 

“It’s not that simple, Mr. Potter.” Professor McGonagall chastised, her heart going out to the young girl.  “She doesn’t want you sacrificing yourself, especially with all her father has put you through these past few years.  Just give her a few days to think it over and approach her again.  If worst comes to worst, we’ll have to do it by force.  Good night all.” With that, she exited, taking her leave in a glide as always, her hat perched on her head. 

 

Harry actually exchanged incredulous looks with Snape.  “Did she say by force?” He asked, wanting to clarify what he just heard.

 

Snape nodded, looking dumbfounded, and replied, “I believe she did.”

 

Realizing he and Snape were actually sharing a moment, Harry paled and quickly excused himself while Dumbledore could only chuckle.

 

~!~

 

Over the next few days, Kiersten avoided Harry like the plague, refusing to look or speak to him.  She knew he was going to try to force her to do this blood binding spell and hated the very thought of it happening.  She sighed, staring out into the ocean, wearing a blue sweatshirt with a pair of black jeans, trying to enjoy her Saturday off from her studies and problems in general.

 

Luna appeared beside her, looking a bit sad.  “Is something wrong?” She asked tentatively, not looking at Kiersten.  “You don’t talk to me anymore; did I do something wrong?” She sniffled, trying to figure out if she’d offended her best friend somehow.

 

Kiersten sighed upon hearing Luna’s sniffle and felt her heart ache, knowing she’d treated Luna terribly over the past few weeks ever since this connection with her father started.  “No, it’s got nothing to do with you, Luna.  I’m sorry.” She apologized, hugging her around the neck, and felt the hot tears scorch her cheeks as they flowed down.  “It’s just been a really rough year, but I had no right taking it out on you.” Snape’s advice was echoing in her mind about befriending people to try to block out of her father more.  He’d even mentioned Luna’s name if she recalled correctly.

 

Luna wrapped her arms around her friend, hugging her tightly.  “Kiersten, you used to be able to talk to me.” She said softly, no longer sounding airheaded, which belied how concerned she was.  “Talk to me now, tell me what’s wrong.” She took her friend’s hand and led her over to a rock, sitting down upon it.

 

“I’m not sure if I should…I don’t want you getting hurt.” Kiersten sniffled out as she sat down on the rock along with Luna, who was stroking her back soothingly with her hand, and looked down at the ground again.  So many thoughts and doubts ran through her mind as she closed her eyes, once again feeling her father surfacing, and visions of Harry were there in an instant.  Snape’s voice kept echoing in her mind to trust and she knew she could trust Luna with her life.  “Promise you won’t say anything?” She finally asked, deciding she had to confide in someone with the truth.

 

“Even if I did, would anyone believe me?” Luna asked with a small, sad smile on her face.  “You know I wouldn’t say anything.  That’s what makes me an ideal best friend.  Everything I say anyways is immediately discarded by everyone else.” She stared into Kiersten’s eyes, a frown marring her forehead.  “What happened?”

 

Taking a deep, shaky breath, Kiersten turned to face her, staring into her blue eyes and finally just blurted it out.  “Voldemort is my father.” She cringed, not meaning for it to come out like that, and watched as Luna’s eyes suddenly widened to two huge potatoes.  “I’m sorry!  I didn’t mean for it to come out so suddenly…”

 

Luna swallowed hard, holding up her hand for a few minutes, obviously digesting this information.  Finally, she took a deep breath and nodded.  “Alright, You-Know-Who is your father.” She frowned slightly, staring at Kiersten.  “You don’t look a thing like him you know.  Anyway, continue.”

 

“I know; I look the spitting image of my mum.” She replied softly, looking down at the ground as tears formed in her eyes at the thought of her mother.  Even though she didn’t know her, she often had dreams about her, and smiled sadly.  She went into the whole story to Luna, telling her about her childhood foster parents, about the lies they told her.  After nearly three hours, Kiersten finally got to the part that she’d been dreading since this conversation began.  “…And now they want to mix Harry’s blood and mine in a spell to prevent my father from ever having access to my mind, body and soul again.  I don’t want him involved, Luna.  I just wish they’d understand that.” She wiped her tears away that’s he’d shed during the whole story.

 

Luna had remained quiet throughout the entire story, listening intently, her eyes never leaving Kiersten’s.  Afterwards, she drew her knees up to her chest, resting her chin on her kneecaps, and looked thoughtful.  “Why don’t you want his help, Kiersten?  Harry knows what he’s doing.  I told you about that time in the Department of Mysteries, didn’t I?” She looked thoughtful still.  “Though it would bind you two together, wouldn’t it?”

 

“Exactly and I’m not sure if I want that or not.” Kiersten admitted openly, standing from the rock, and looked out at the horizon, the sun glittering against the Black Lake.  “This is a huge risk, Luna.  Things could happen, something could go wrong.  They don’t understand that though and I don’t think they ever will.  I can block my father out when I think of Harry, but other than that, it’s pretty much an ongoing inner war.” She knew she wasn’t making any sense, but it was the truth.

 

“Well,” Luna began slowly, taking her time because she wanted to say this right the first time and not have to repeat herself.  “The way I see it Kiersten, it’d be better to have the magical bind with Harry then constantly be battling You-Know-Who for possession of yourself.  We’re at war, whether you like it or not, you’re stuck with Harry either way.”

 

Kiersten lowered her head, knowing her friend was right, but her pride wouldn’t allow her to see it.  To be bound to someone for eternity would mean that’s he’d always see him in her dreams, that they’d think the same things, do everything together.  She knew she loved Harry, but wasn’t sure how he felt toward her.  ‘He’s doing it to help me, that’s it.’ She thought miserably, wishing he felt the same way as she did, and wiped her tears away hastily.  “I’m not doing it.  I can’t risk it.”

 

“Can’t risk what?” Luna asked serenely.  “Loving him or him not loving you in return?” She wasn’t looking at Kiersten any longer, her eyes fastened on the Black Lake, watching the Giant Squid’s tentacles skimming the surface.  “You know…” She said dreamily.  “Harry brings passion to almost everything he does…what would his love be like do you think?”

 

“I-I don’t know.” Kiersten mumbled, not believing Luna hit it right on the head.  She was afraid, no more like scared to death, of him not loving her.  She knew she was being shallow, but at the same time, she had to do what was best for her.  “I know it would be powerful…like something out of a Muggle movie.  His kiss would make everything and everyone else disappear from sight, leaving just the two in a starry atmosphere.” She described with a sigh, her eyes never leaving the Black Lake either.

 

Luna smiled, finally looking at her friend.  “You know what I think?  I think you should ask him how he feels about you.” When Kiersten raised an eyebrow, Luna just smiled.  “It’s a good idea and now would be a good time, don’t you think?  Especially since he’s sitting just over there.” She pointed along the way to where Harry sat under a tree, tossing rocks into the Black Lake, oblivious to them.

 

Kiersten felt the blood rush to her brain, making her lightheaded, and had to sit down as she plopped right in the grass, staring over at him with a saddened expression.  “I can’t.” She whispered finally, her courage diminishing, and looked over at Luna with a sad smile.  “Thanks for the encouragement, but I’ll pass.” She refused to be rejected from the most popular boy in school and finally stood up, regaining feeling in her legs.  “I’m going to head back to the Common Room.  You’re welcome to join me if you’d like.” She smiled at her friend, not realizing how much she’d missed Luna’s company.

 

Luna stood up.  “Harry!  Over here!” She called, waving her hand.  “I think I’ll go get something to eat.  Good luck.” She smiled at Kiersten before practically vanishing on the spot.

 

Harry smiled awkwardly as he walked up to Kiersten, hands in his pockets, and greeted, “Hello.”

 

Kiersten made a mental note to kill Luna later on as she stared back at Harry, raking a hand through her hair, and acknowledged his presence with a nod.  “Hi.” She murmured softly, her eyes on the ground, feeling lightheaded again, though it wasn’t as bad as before. 

 

What was she supposed to say to him after avoiding him for almost a week?

 

Harry was just as awkward as she was, wondering if maybe coming over had been the brightest of ideas.  “Umm…” He raked a hand through his wind-blown hair, casting about his brain for something to say.  “Want to walk with me?” He finally asked, staring at her intently.

 

Kiersten raised her head to stare at him, and finally nodded, deciding to follow her heart for once.  “Sure.” She murmured, taking his offered hand, and proceeded to walk with him into the woods away from Hogwarts, giving them the privacy they needed.

 

Chapter 11

 

“So…how are you holding up after that incident?” She asked, knowing he knew which one she was talking about, looking at their surroundings as the trees blocked most of the wind out.

 

“Good.  It’s been a nice change, being able to sleep without worrying if someone’s going to break into my room to assault me.” He managed a grin.  “Did you hear about Cho?  She was sentenced to six months in Azkaban.” He snorted.  “I hear she’ll be finishing her schooling at home when she’s released, along with therapy at St. Mungos.”

 

“Oh wow, no I didn’t hear that.” Kiersten replied, not sounding one bit remorseful.  The bitch had it coming as far as she was concerned and hoped she rotted in Azkaban.  “I’m really sorry about that, even though I had nothing to do with it, besides a few strands of hair.” She raked a hand through it, their hands still locked together, and finally stopped at the edge of the Black Lake.

 

“Well…not your fault.” Harry replied, stooping down to pick up a rock, skipping it over the water.  “Cho’s just a demented slag who deserves everything she gets.” Silence reigned for a few minutes, when he finally looked at her and asked, “Have you given any thought to the transfusion, Kiersten?”

 

“I was hoping you wouldn’t bring that up.” She grumbled, looking down at the ground, avoiding his gaze now.  “Yes, it’s all I can think about really.” She finally admitted, shoving her hands in the front pocket of her sweatshirt, sighing heavily.  Why couldn’t he just leave well enough alone?  Did he really want to be bound to her for eternity?  ‘Of course he doesn’t, you fool!  He just wants to help because that’s what he does!’ She berated herself mentally.

 

“Sorry, I tend to stumble into unwanted topics a lot.” Harry said, attempting a feeble joke.  “All you can think about huh?” He grinned suddenly, walking over to stand by her, their arms touching.  “What else have you been thinking about?” He asked in a husky whisper right near her ear.

 

Kiersten felt a shiver overtake her body, the goose bumps forming on her arms as the feeling trickled up and down to the pit of her stomach.  “Nothing really.” She lied, clearing her throat awkwardly, and slowly looked up into his intense emerald green eyes, her breath catching in her throat.  “I-I should go.” She suddenly said tearing her gaze from his, her heart feeling like it was going to leap from her chest at any given moment if she stared one more second into those green orbs.

 

Harry frowned slightly, taking her hands in his, preventing her from leaving.  “Why do you always insist on running away from me?  Am I that bad?  Ugly?  Too much of a hazard?  What is it?” He demanded gruffly, having been trying to figure out what was wrong with him for a while now that she should always take off.

 

“Because I don’t want to hurt you.” She answered honestly, staring back at him, the tears filling her amber eyes as she released one of his hands to wipe her nose with her finger.  “No you’re not that bad, ugly or a hazard.  It’s me, I’m afraid that if you’re around me, my father will hurt you through me.” She was being honest with him, but refused to tell him the REAL reason why she kept running.  She loved him, she’d already said it and he blew her off, so that told her he didn’t feel the same way and never would.

 

“Voldemort’s been trying to kill me from day one and hasn’t managed to wink it yet, I doubt he’s going to succeed through you.  He can’t even possess me properly for Merlin’s sake.” Harry said softly.  “Kiersten…you won’t hurt me.  I won’t hurt you.” He was moving closer to her now, having been holding her hands at arm’s length.  “Besides, you said you loved me once and then pushed me away before I could tell you something.”

 

“Harry please just let it go.” She pleaded tearfully, not wanting to hear him reject her.  She couldn’t take that and figured it would be best to just let whatever he wanted to say to her pass.  She had enough on her mind and the LAST thing she needed was heartache, which Harry was about to cause, she was sure of it.  “Please don’t…” She whispered, the tears finally falling down her cheeks as she stared back into his green eyes, her walls suddenly crumbling along with her defenses as he stood right in front of her.

 

Harry couldn’t for the life of him figure out what was wrong with this woman.  Either she loved him or she didn’t.  “I love you, Kiersten.” He said finally, stepping away from her, hating to see her cry, but needing to know if she still felt the same.

 

Kiersten looked back at him, her heart filling with warmth that she couldn’t understand was coming from, and had to digest what he just told her.  “You do?” She asked, sounding in disbelief, and raked a hand through her hair when he nodded, clarifying what he just said.  “I thought you didn’t think of me that way…” She murmured, loud enough for him to hear, not believing she’d been wrong.  She’d been wrong about everything on every count.

 

“Well you never took the time to ask me what I thought.  You were too busy running from me.” Harry replied, staring at her intently.  “Now if you’re done running and pushing me away, maybe we could try to make a go of this.”

 

Tears spilled down her cheeks, not believing what a fool she’d been, and slowly walked over to him.  “I only ran because I was afraid of hurting you and getting hurt in return.” She murmured softly, taking his hand in hers, and entwined their fingers together.  “But now that I know how you really feel; I’m willing to make this work because I love you just as much Harry.” Amber met green as her bangs rested gently on her forehead, the stars beginning to peek out of the sky one by one, her eyes never leaving his for a moment.

 

Harry reached up and tenderly brushed her bangs back out of her face, leaning forward to press his forehead against hers.  “Good.” He whispered, never tearing his eyes from her.  “Now then, what are we going to tell Dumbledore about his little idea?  It’s up to you, Kiersten, but I really think you should do it.”

 

“Do you really want to be bound together for eternity, even though there’s a chance we might not work out?” She asked him, needing to know the answer to the question that’d been burning and plaguing her mind ever since that night in Dumbledore’s office.  “I’ve loved you since I first arrived in Hogwarts, Harry, but I’m not sure how long you’ve loved me and I don’t want to do this and then have something bad happen between us.” Again, she was spilling her true feelings out to him and hoped he didn’t crucify her for it.

 

Harry understood where she was coming from.  It’d been on his mind as well.  “Kiersten, I’ve thought about that too…who’s to say what will happen years down the road, but the only thing I can tell you is that some things are worth the risk.” He stared at her.  “No matter what happens, I’ll never stop caring about you, even if you stop loving me.”

 

“That will never happen, Harry.” She promised, leaning up a bit, and pressed her lips softly to his in a tender kiss.  It wasn’t one of those explosive, heart stopping kisses, but it was nice and kind, letting him know that she was with him for the long haul.  “I’ll do it.” She finally said, staring into his green eyes, and stroked his face tenderly with the back of her hand.

 

It took a full minute for that to sink in; Harry was busy enjoying the after effects of the simple, yet totally enjoyable kiss.  “You will?” He repeated, his eyes lighting up like the stars in the sky.  “Great!  We should go let the Professor’s know.” He took her hand, raising her knuckles to his mouth, and brushed his lips against them in a gentle caress.

 

“So soon?” She asked, her voice a bit shaky from both the kiss and what he was doing to her hand, sending tremors throughout her body.  “If you think that’s best, I guess it is better to get it over with.” She murmured softly, staring back at him, her eyes glazed over a bit and darkened from just that one simple kiss.  She wondered what it would be like to have a full kiss from him and shivered at the thought.

 

Harry seemed to be sensing her thoughts because he was suddenly smiling knowingly at her.  “Let’s get it done and out of the way.  I’d really hate for your mind to be attacked when I’m kissing you.” He whispered throatily in a husky tone.  “I want it just us, not us and Voldemort.  He can find his own love life.”

 

For the first time in months, Kiersten flashed a genuine smile, and entwined her fingers with his as they headed through the woods.  “I’m scared, Harry.  I’m so scared right now.” She leaned against his side, raking a hand through her hair as the nerves began building within her stomach.  She just hoped nothing backfired with this and they could finally be happy.

 

“Don’t be.” He assured her softly.  “Everything will be fine.  I’ll walk you through it.” He wasn’t particularly fond of the idea of needles, but for her, he’d manage.  “Madam Pomfrey is the best healer I know of; you’ll be in good hands.” Harry led the way towards the castle, his grip on her hand tightening ever so slightly.

 

She pleaded with him, stopping them from going to Dumbledore’s office, and turned him to face her.  “Why do we have to do this?” She asked fearfully, tears forming in her eyes, and suddenly felt her father try breaking through the barriers she’d put up.  “Harry…” She whispered and suddenly collapsed in his arms, the darkness surrounding and taking her completely under.

 

Professor McGonagall took that moment to appear.  “Let’s get this done, Potter.” She said firmly flicking her wand.

 

Harry looked shocked before darkness overtook him as well.

 

~!~

 

“Well…now they’re linked.” Snape said quietly, staring down at the two hospital beds.  “A pint and a half…good thing Poppy had that potion on hand.”

 

“Indeed.”

 

~!~

 

Kiersten slowly opened her eyes and looked around the hospital room, wondering what had happened.  She reached her hand up, pressing it to her forehead, and felt very weak suddenly.  She managed to pull herself up off the bed and looked to her right, seeing Harry lying there looking pale, but alive.  What happened?  The last thing she remembered was asking Harry why they had to do the spell and then everything was blank after that.  It didn’t make sense as she tried boggling her mind, though she was too weak to even do that.

 

“Don’t move, dearie.” Madam Pomfrey said, gently pushing Kiersten back down onto the bed.  She followed the girl’s gaze onto Harry.  “He’ll be alright; it’ll just take some time for his body to catch up with the potion.  How do you feel?” She pressed her hand to Kiersten’s forehead.


“Weak.” She whispered, slowly lying back down, and that’s when it happened.  It was almost as if it happened in slow motion as a dark figure appeared behind Madam Pomfrey, stunning her.  Kiersten’s eyes widened as she went to let out a scream, but it wouldn’t’ come as she began trembling with fear.  His snake like face entered her mind, causing tears to spring to her eyes, and knew who it was.

 

Her father.

 

Voldemort looked down at his daughter, his slit snake-like eyes a demonic red color.  “You weakling.” He murmured, sounding disgusted before turning his gaze onto the helpless Harry Potter.  “Though you did me a great service by sharing blood with this…boy.” He approached Harry’s bed, raising his wand.

 

“Father, don’t!” She cried out weakly to him, tears cascading down her cheeks, and began to panic as his wand lit up green.  “Take me instead!” Her voice was low, not having enough strength to heighten it, and watched as his head snapped back to stare at her, those piercing red eyes making her blood run cold in her veins.  “Don’t hurt him please.” She pleaded, somehow managing to sit up on her knees before him.  “I’ll do…anything if you spare his life…”

 

Voldemort cocked his head as if to study her, which he was.  He finally let out a hiss.  “You are nothing like me, what a disappointment.  I’ve been trying to kill Potter for years and every time, fate has seen fit to save the boy.  Your pleas are falling on deaf ears, <I>daughter</I>.”

 

“My blood is his now.  You kill me, you kill a piece of him, father.  Isn’t that what you want?  To make him suffer?  Take me instead, it’ll kill his soul.” She softly said, her voice incredibly low, and looked down as she began trembling with fear as he slowly came toward her.  She was ready to die for Harry, ready to give her own life, and waited for the words Avada Kedavra to sound from his lips, waited for the green light to pierce her heart and take her life.  She wondered if it would hurt.

 

Voldemort stared at her crudely.  “What is it, I wonder, that makes people want to save him so?” He murmured, almost thoughtfully.  “I won’t kill you, Kiersten.  It would indeed take a part of his soul, but killing him takes it all.  As well as hurting you, which I want.  Oh yes.” He smiled coldly at the look on her face.  “Pain is a good teacher; it will remind you of your place.” He then turned back to Harry.

 

“Because I love him!” She shouted weakly, tears streaming down her cheeks, her heart bursting with both fear and secretly knew that Voldemort could no longer touch him because she was doing what Lily had done all those years ago.  “He’s worth saving from the likes of you, Tom.” She spat, her eyes narrowed, not even wiping her tears away.  “I love him and he loves me, which is why we’re bound together now.  You can’t touch either of us now because love conquers all!”

 

“Love does indeed conquer all…” Voldemort hissed dangerously.  “For a while.  Even the great Harry Potter must die; even the legendary blood that saves him cannot protect him from this.  Not anymore.” He turned to her.  “Though now I believe I will kill you first.  What a waste.  I knew I should have murdered you when I killed your filthy mudblood mother.”

 

Pain hit Kiersten like a ton of bricks as she stared coldly back at her father, not believing what he just said, and felt a surge of anger course through her.  “You evil BASTARD!” She shrieked, jumping off her hospital bed, and tackled him as his wand went flying.  “How DARE you speak of my mother that way!!” She started clawing at his eyes, his face, leaving deep gouges in them and punched him in the face before rolling off of him.  She was still incredibly weak, but her anger was feeding her energy as she reached for his wand.

 

Chapter 12

 

Voldemort stared at her, feeling his face, studying his own blood.  “How crude, fighting like a Muggle.” He sneered wickedly.  “Let me show you the meaning of real pain, girl!  CRUCIO!” He spat, watching as her body twitched and writhed on the ground, listening to her screams as they echoed off the walls.  “How sweet…Potter is feeling it too.”

 

Harry had rolled off his bed, screaming in agony, feeling every ounce of pain she was.

 

Kiersten’s body was jittering on the floor, convulsing as the tears poured down her face freely.  When he stopped, she lay motionless on the floor, blood coming from her mouth, but twitched to let him know she was still alive.  “Harry…” She whispered, reaching for him, the pain radiating throughout her body almost too much for her to bear, but she was hanging on by a thread.

 

“I’m here.” Harry rasped, stumbling to his feet.  He’d been through this before and knew they were about to die.  Voldemort had capitalized on them being weak.  He raised his wand and stated, “Your fight is with me, not her.”

 

“Young love.”

 

“Avada-” Harry was knocked off his feet when Voldemort made a slashing gesture with his wand, blood spurting from his chest.

 

“No!!  Harry!!” She cried out, seeing the blood coming from his chest, and crawled over farther.  She could see her wand mere inches form her and if Voldemort kept his gaze on Harry for a moment longer, she’d be able to stun him.  Her body was wracked with pure pain as she crawled with all the strength in her body, tears pouring down her cheeks, not wanting Harry to die.  “Hold on, please hold on…” She pleaded, finally reaching the table, and managed to swipe her wand form it just as Voldemort shot a green light at her, buts he missed it by inches.  “STUPEFY!” She shouted, stunning her father as he hit the wall with a sickening thud, and used her wand to recharge her energy as she felt herself come alive once more.

 

“What in the blazes is-” Severus Snape halted when he seen The Dark Lord, Voldemort, knowing whatever was keeping him down wouldn’t last long.  He spotted Potter and scooped him in his arms, knowing this was no time to heal him, they needed to flee.  “RUN YOU SILLY GIRL!  RUN!” He barked at Kiersten.

 

“Take Harry and get out of here!” She shouted at Snape, her eyes never leaving her father’s, knowing this was their showdown.  “Come on daddy dearest, do your worst.” She taunted him, her voice a low, wicked cackle, the evil pouring out of her like liquid fire.  “You will NOT harm Harry or anyone else ever again!” She vowed, pointing her wand at him, and began to glow pure white.

 

“Not today, Beautiful One, not today.” Voldemort hissed angrily and spun around, vanishing into thin air.

 

“MISS RIDDLE, MOVE IT NOW!”

 

“He’s gone, mind bloody healing me now before I die of blood loss?” Harry began laughing at the irony of the entire situation.

 

“WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?”

 

Kiersten looked up at the ceiling, expecting her father to come out of nowhere and attack her.  She finally lowered her wand and rushed over to Harry, completely ignoring Professor McGonagall, and felt the tears rush down her face as she shoved Severus away from him.  “Harry, I’m so sorry!” She cried, pressing her hand against his wound and closed her eyes as the white light began flooding his chest, the wound slowly closing.  It was a deep slash and she knew he’d lost quite a bit of blood, which is why he’d been laughing, he was delirious.  “I knew this would happen.” She sobbed, holding his head in her lap, and began rocking back and forth, stroking his hair with her hand.  “SEE?  NOW YOU SEE WHY I DIDN’T WANT TO DO IT?!” She screamed at the Professors, who just stared at her blank faced.  “HE KNEW WE WOULD BE WEAK!!  HE KNEW IT!”

 

“That is enough, Miss Riddle.” Professor Dumbledore said gravely, appearing in their midst.  He looked around at the damaged hospital ward, finally looking down at Harry.  “Severus, put him back to bed.  Poppy, I believe you have a patient to tend too.  Miss Riddle, walk with me.”

 

Crying as they took Harry back to the hospital ward, Kiersten stood up, her wand still in her hand and walked over to Professor Dumbledore as they began walking the hall.  Her head was lowered as the tears kept falling; knowing Harry could’ve died because of her tonight.  She couldn’t take it anymore and finally dropped to her knees, clutching her stomach, and began dry heaving as her wand lay on the floor before her, the tears streaming by now as they made small puddles upon the floor.

 

Dumbledore stood over her, looking away, giving her privacy in her lapse of strength.  “Evanesco.” He murmured, cleaning her up.  “Miss Riddle it was a chance that needed to be taken.  That was Voldemort’s one chance to end him with ease.  Now, thanks to your shared blood, killing either of you will be well beyond his usual means.” He said softly.  “Your blood resides in Harry as well as his in you.”

 

“I know that.” She softly said, raking a hand through her hair, and slowly stood up as she wiped her tears away, though they just kept flowing.  “I need to leave.  I almost got him killed tonight.  Professor, I know you think its best that I stay here, but if I do, he will end up dead because of me.” She started crying again, wrapping her arms around herself, having picked up her wand as soon as she stood.  “If I stay with him, he’ll end up dying and I can’t allow that to happen.” She was beside herself with grief and guilt, feeling it eating away at her insides like a deadly plague.

 

“Miss Riddle, maybe, for your own piece of mind, you should hear…about the prophecy surrounding Harry and Lord Voldemort.  It might assure you that, no matter what you do, there is nothing you can do for Harry.  You’re taking this a bit too personally, my dear girl.”

 

“I know about the prophecy, Professor.  It says that one of them is going to have to kill each other in the end.” She recited it, remembering having heard about it through the grapevine at Hogwarts, but that still didn’t make the guilt any less vulgar to bear.  “Please do not call me, Miss Riddle; I’d prefer to be called Kiersten Alley.” She stated, using her mother’s last name, deciding she was dropping the name Riddle once and for all.  She refused to acknowledge she was indeed the daughter of Lord Voldemort.

 

“Then you know no matter what you say or do, you’re not condemning Harry or putting him in danger.  He knows what lies before him and has accepted it.  Why is it so hard for you to do the same?” Dumbledore asked, acknowledging her change of name with a polite nod.

 

“Because I don’t want him to die by my father’s hand.” She replied, looking back into Dumbledore’s blue eyes, and knew he was right.  She couldn’t stop it from happening; she couldn’t prevent the inevitable from occurring.  The pain in her heart seared as she took a deep breath and knew she had to stay to at least try and protect Harry from her father.  “I’m not going anywhere; you have my word.” She assured him in a low voice.

 

“Miss Alley, I would also like your word that you won’t interfere.  Help Harry all you can, but when it comes time for him to do what he must, keep clear.” He stared intently at her.  “He needs your love, your support, and whatever you can give him, but you must not interfere.”

 

How could she make a promise like that?

 

How could she promise she wouldn’t stop her father from killing the man she loved?

 

“Y-You have my word.” She finally managed to get out, choking, and felt a fresh batch of tears spring to her eyes.  “I’m going to go check on him.” She informed the Professor before walking away, not believing what she just agreed too.  If only she would’ve known sooner than maybe she wouldn’t have allowed this binding blood idea to go into effect.  It was too late now, they were bound, so whatever pain he felt, she would and vice versa.

 

“He’ll sleep for a while.” Madam Pomfrey said when Kiersten appeared.  “That was a nasty curse You-Know-Who used on the poor boy.” She sniffed.  “As if he’s not delicate enough.”

 

Snape was staring down at Harry, watching as the roses slowly bloomed back in his cheeks.  “He’ll be alright.  That potion was strong.”

 

After making sure he was going to be alright, Kiersten decided to go for a walk, needing to clear her mind.  She couldn’t believe her father had actually showed up tonight when they were at their weakest.  That showed Voldemort feared something and that something was a boy named Harry Potter.  She smiled at the thought as she looked out the window and the smile instantly vanished when she remembered what she’d promised Dumbledore.  Silently, she began sobbing, staring out into the dark night.

 

~!~

 

Ron, I don’t think Harry is going to want-” Hermione sighed, staring at him with a slight frown.

 

“Want what?” Harry demanded eagerly, sitting up in bed.  He’d been stuck there all weekend since Madam Pomfrey wanted to make sure there’d be no lasting effects of that curse and he was bored out of his skull.

 

“Here.” Ron handed Harry the Daily Prophet.  “Cho’s been admitted to the psycho ward.”

 

“Brilliant.”

 

Hermione sat at the end of the bed while Harry read the newspaper aloud, listening and trying not to smile at his obvious pleasure in Cho being admitted to an insane asylum.

 

“Seen Kiersten at all?” Harry finally asked.

 

“Here and there, why?”

 

“She’s been up in her room all weekend, Harry.” Ginny answered as she walked inside, carrying a bouquet of flowers, and set them on his nightstand.  “She’s put some sort of charm on the room to where nobody can walk in.  Believe me, Hermione even tried.” She glared when Ron shot her a look, ignoring him, knowing Harry had the right to know what had been going on with Kiersten.

 

“That’s great.” Harry muttered, slouching back on his pillows, suddenly not caring if he was stuck there for the rest of the week.  “She probably thinks I’m a prat or something.”

 

“Wouldn’t be far off the mark then would she?” Ron groaned when Hermione slapped him upside the head.  “What’d I do?”

 

“Stop being such a wart.  Of course she doesn’t think that, Harry.”

 

“Harry…she’s been crying in her room and the charm only dies when she sleeps at night.  I’ve heard her mumbling something about You-Know-Who and blood ties; I’ve heard your name too.  What’s happened, Harry?” Ginny finally asked, raking a hand through her hair and looked at her brother, who was scowling back at her.  “Be quiet, Ron.  We’re his best friends and have the right to know if the Dark Lord has made another move.”

 

“No, we’re,” Ron paused, pointing at himself and Hermione.  “His best friends.  You’re the best friend’s annoying little sister who sticks her nose in where it’s not wanted.  Now bugger off.” He was mean yes, but he didn’t like her getting involved in the hijinks that normally came with the Golden Trio territory.

 

Harry was too busy contemplating getting out of bed to listen.

 

Ginny looked back at her brother and pursed her lips tightly together, tears filling her eyes, standing from the bed.  A second later, a large smack echoed throughout the room as Ron’s cheek was now flaming, courtesy of Ginny’s hand.  “GO TO HELL, RONALD!” She shrieked, tears spilling down her cheeks, and ran out of there heartbroken.

 

“Ronald!  How could you?” Hermione demanded reproachfully before running after her best friend.

 

“You might’ve been a tad bit out of bounds there, Ron.” Harry said thoughtfully, watching as Ron gingerly felt his face, glad he wasn’t spitting any teeth out.

 

“Just a bit.”

 

“I’m getting out of here; I need to talk to Kiersten.” Harry swung his legs over the bed.  “Watch for Pomfrey, will you?”

 

Ron could only nod, knowing Harry was going to do it no matter what he did or said, and was glad Hermione had gone after Ginny.

 

~!~

 

Kiersten had stayed away from the hospital ward over the weekend, trying to decide on what to do about her father.  She could always run, but she’d done that enough already, especially from Harry.  She was scared to go see him, to stare into his eyes, fearing she’d see nothing, but hurt and embarrassment at her actions in them.  She sighed, staring out her window in her room, having not left it since those few nights ago.

 

Sitting on her bed, Kiersten looked down at her small photo album that her foster parents made for her of her mother, and felt tears pour down her cheeks.  Voldemort’s voice echoed in her mind that he killed her mother; that her parents never died in a horrible fire.  Her stepfather was probably killed by him too, which was more of a father to her than Voldemort ever thought about being.  She wiped her tears away, closing the photo album, and her head snapped up when a knock sounded at her dormitory door.

 

Harry waited patiently, finally banging his fists against the door again.  “Kiersten, you can’t hide in there forever!  You’re rooming with Hermione and I think she might like in sometime!” He yelled through the door, knowing Hermione was down in the Common Room knitting.  “Kiersten let me in!”

 

“Harry?” Kiersten called out in question, walking over, and instantly opened the door as she stared at him in shock.  “What are you doing up here?  You’ll be in such trouble if Madam Pomfrey finds you gone from the ward!” She chastised, pulling him inside, and guided him over to the bed where he could rest.  She then went about getting some blankets and a few more pillows, wanting to make him as comfortable as possible.

 

Harry cocked an eyebrow, getting off the bed.  “I’m fine, I feel great.” He said honestly, feeling better than he had in a while.  “Pomfrey just likes to dramatize every little thing, she always has.” He caught Kiersten by the arms, pulling her against him.  “Tell me what’s wrong, Kiers.”

 

Kiersten sighed as she instantly wrapped her arms around him, snuggling against his chest.  “I’ve missed you.” She murmured, rubbing his back, and finally looked up into his confused eyes.  “Harry, I couldn’t go back in there…not after what happened…” She trailed off, breaking away from him, and turned to stare out the window.  “We have to do something about this Harry before he comes back for the final round.” She wrapped her arms around herself, feeling chills run throughout her body at the mere thought of having to face Voldemort again.

 

Chapter 13

 

Harry smiled a bit.  “Now that I’m feeling better, he can come have a go, the coward.” He raked a hand through his hair, staring down at her intently.  He was waiting for the end of the school year-as he’d promised Mrs. Weasley he would-then he was gone.  “Everything will be fine, Kiersten you need to stop worrying so much, you’ll wind up like me.”

 

“Where are you going after the school year, Harry?” She finally asked, turning around to face him as if reading his mind.  “I know you’re planning something and I want to know what it is.” This connection between them ever since the bind was scary because she could always feel every emotion he was feeling at the moment along with reading his mind.  He wondered if he could read hers.

 

Harry cocked his other eyebrow, wondering if they were now able to read each other’s minds.  He slowly grinned, deciding to test this theory out.  He focused on an image of them kissing passionately, sending a few thoughts of an inappropriate nature to her.

 

Kiersten’s eyes widened in shock when she seen the images suddenly enter her mind and felt the blood rush to her cheeks, causing them to burn.  “Harry!” She exclaimed, covering her cheeks with her hands, and could not believe what he’d just done.  So they could read each other’s minds, bloody Hell what other surprises were in store for them, Kiersten wondered.

 

“But I’m finding this a bit more interesting than your question.” Harry teased, his green eyes sparkling with impish humor.  He loved the blush in her cheeks, thinking that the added color did her some good, she looked wan.  “How’s this?” He next envisioned his mouth moving down her neck, sucking and nipping, father rather bold.

 

“Bloody Hell…” She grumbled, trying to push the thought out of her mind, but it wasn’t happening.  “Harry James Potter, I order you to stop this instant!” She shouted at him, flushed and overheated, opening her window to let some fresh winter air inside.  When that didn’t work, she stuck her head out the window and closed her eyes, smirking when Harry suddenly groaned.  She’d sent him an image of her in a wine colored mid-thigh nightgown that was see-through in the stomach region.

 

Harry closed his eyes, savoring that vision.  He finally moved behind her, bending down so his mouth was right next to her ear.  “Let me ask you something,” He murmured, pausing briefly.  “Do you really own that nightgown and if so, will you wear it for me?”

 

Kiersten could feel herself growing hotter by the moment and turned around, staring back into his intense green eyes, and smirked.  “That, my love, is for ME to know and YOU to find out.” She giggled and sent him another image of her bending over in that same nightgown, showing her matching panties, and knew they were treading on dangerous grounds right now.  She loved it.

 

Harry decided to skim her mind for that information, smirking slightly.  “How nice…you do, as well as a matching set in black.” His smirk broadened at the expression on her face.  “What other sexy secrets are you hiding in there, Kiersten?” He stared down at her curiously.

 

“If you don’t stop reading my mind, I won’t wear any of them for you.” She threatened, half playful, half serious, and crossed her arms in front of her chest as she sent him another image.  This one was of her undressing him slowly from the clothes that he was wearing at that very moment, and sat down on the bed with a smirk on her lips.  “So, are you going to answer my question or not?”

 

“No.” Harry answered honestly.  “I’m too interested in this little exchange we have going now.” He sat down on the bed next to her, finally leaning back on his elbows.  “Now…are those just random thoughts you’re sending my way or things you’d actually like to do to me?”

 

“I’m not answering you until you answer me.” She stated stubbornly, refusing to be pushed aside, and stared back at him with a crude expression on her face.  She had to find a way to block him out of her mind and decided to talk to Professor Snape about that later on.  If he couldn’t help her, she’d go to Dumbledore, who she knew would help her with this.

 

“I’m going away for a while after school.” Harry answered, staring at her hard, his green eyes narrowing slightly as he began erecting walls in his mind.  Who said he didn’t ever listen to Snape?  “It’s nothing to worry about yet, Kiersten.  You worry too much.”

 

“You’re blocking me out!” She shouted at him suddenly, standing from the bed, and whirled around to face him with tears shining in her eyes.  “I thought we were supposed to trust each other, Harry?  I thought this bind was going to help US, not just you, against my father!” She was absolutely livid when he put those walls up and felt very violated suddenly.  “Don’t worry, I’ll learn that little bloody trick too, bastard.” She hissed angrily.

 

“Kiersten, you’re already going half out of your mind with worry.  Deal with it; I’m not letting you in.  You’ll only worry some more and it’s driving you mad.” Harry said calmly.  “When you’ve got a better understanding of things, I’ll let you in.”

 

“I know what’s going to happen, Harry!” She cried out at him, knowing she shouldn’t be saying this, but knew she had no choice.  “Dumbledore told me everything.  He said that I can’t interfere, that either Voldemort has to kill you or vice versa.  I know what you’re planning on doing after school.” She turned around to face him, a glare in her watery eyes.  “You’re going after him.” It wasn’t a question.  “And when you do, I’m going with you, but I will not interfere in the final fight.”

 

“I’m not going after him.” Harry said, still in that calm tone of voice.  “And bollocks if you will come, you know damn well you’ll interfere.  I can feel it coming off you.  If you think I’m in danger, you’ll jump right in.” He stared at her piercingly.

 

“No, I gave my word that I wouldn’t, and I won’t break it.” She stated, glaring back at him.  It showed just how much faith he had in her, which was little to none.  “I want you out right now, Harry.  I don’t want to see you again until after I figure out a way to block you out of my mind.’ She crossed her arms in front of her chest and stared out the window, her back to him, and wiped her tears away.  He’d just lied to her face and she knew it because she could feel it rolling off of him in waves.

 

“You gave your word you wouldn’t jump in with me and Voldemort.” Harry corrected, knowing she was mistaking his guilt and regret for lies.  “You can’t honestly tell me you wouldn’t try to jump in between me and a Death Eater, a Dementor, whatever the Hell will be coming after me.”

 

“You’re bloody right I would!” She shouted, whirling around to face him, her lips pursed tightly together.  “I would give my life for you or did you not notice that those few nights ago when my father attacked?” She spat, sounding hurt, and blinked back her tears.  “But I won’t interfere between you and my father, the others is a completely different story, whether you like it or not.  We’re in his together until the end, Harry so YOU deal with it!”

 

Harry shook his head, a haunted look coming in his eye as he stood up.  “No.  You’re not coming with me and that’s final, Kiersten.  Enough people have died on my account and if you think I’m going to risk losing you, you’re out of your mind.  I know you’d give your life for me, but don’t you see?  Enough people have already, it has to end somewhere.”

 

“I’m going with you and that’s all there is to it.  You can’t stop me, Harry!” She cried back at him, angry tears flowing down her cheeks now, not believing what he was saying to her.  “You’re the one who wanted to do the binding and this is the price you pay!  You’re stuck with me; do you understand me, Harry?  We’re in this together until one of both of us is dead!” She then turned back around and stared out the window; her lips pursed tightly together, and didn’t even attempt to wipe her tears away.

 

Harry began putting up the walls immediately, not wanting her to feel the lie he was about to tell her, or feel his heart breaking.  He had lost so many loved ones, so many people had died because and for him.  He’d be damned if he let her be the next one on that list, he loved her too much.  “I pushed it because I wanted you to keep him out of your head, Kiersten, that’s it.” He said flatly.  “We’re not in this together; I’m offering you what I can and no more.  End of term, I’m gone and you’re not going with me.”

 

“Get out.  I never want to see you again.” She stated heartbrokenly, wiping her tears away.  When she felt his hands on her shoulders, she spun around and slapped him as hard as she possibly could across the face, causing him to stumble back as his bum hit the floor.  “I SAID GET OUT!  GET OUT RIGHT NOW, YOU BLOODY LIAR!” She screamed at the top of her lungs and began throwing things at him, completely losing all sense of rationality as her heart shattered into a million pieces.  “GET OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

 

~!~

 

“Harry, what’s wrong?” Hermione asked when she seen her friend come down the steps, looking like an Inferi.

 

“Kiersten and I…I broke up with her, she kicked me out…” He mumbled.  “I’m going to go kill myself with the Bludgers.”

 

“You don’t think he means it, do you?” Ron asked, watching Harry disappear out the portrait hole, looking worried.

 

Hermione kneaded her forehead.  “I think you’d better follow him, make sure he doesn’t fly off anywhere.”

 

~!~

 

Kiersten knew she had to do.  If Harry wasn’t going to let her go with, then she was leaving by herself to face her father.  She began packing things she knew she would need and called for her broom.  Hopping on it, Kiersten broke through the protective barriers of Dumbledore and flew off into the sky just as Hermione came bursting through the door.  She’d barely caught a glimpse of the flying broom before it disappeared into the heavy white clouds that lingered over Hogwarts.

 

“Harry!  Kiersten’s gone!” Hermione shouted several long minutes later, out of breath.  She had snagged Ron and ran down to the Black Lake, where they knew Harry liked to brood.

 

Harry-having not paying attention to anything, but his own angst-instantly sought Kiersten out with this newfound power of his.  “BLOODY HELL; IS SHE OUT OF HER MIND?”

 

~!~

 

Kiersten flew well into the night, not stopping as the tears continued flowing down her face.  Her heart was shattered, her spirit broken; she had nothing left, but to avenge her mother’s death.  She finally stooped down into a patch of dark woods and sat her bag down, completely exhausted from the flight.  She could feel Harry probing her mind and took her tent out, setting it up within moments, and began putting protective charms around it, including an invisibility one she’d learned recently.  After that, she took out a book she’d snagged from Hermione, and began reading on how to block out people from entering her thoughts.  She knew it would be difficult, but she didn’t want Harry reading her mind anymore.

 

~!~

 

Back at Hogwarts, the Golden Trio was in Dumbledore’s office.  After getting Harry’s berating out of the way, they settled down to discussing what to do in earnest.

 

“I hadn’t intended on you leaving so soon.” Dumbledore said quietly.  “I would go with you but sadly, I’m bound to the castle.”

 

“We know sir, Professor McGonagall explained it all.” Hermione said quickly.

 

“So we leave tonight and try to get this done quickly before she ends up getting herself killed.”

 

“What I don’t understand is why you didn’t want her going with you if you two are bound together by the spell?” Ron stated out of nowhere, raking a hand through his straight red hair, and glared at Harry.  “You broke her heart, mate.  She’s not going to want to have anything to do with you.  Why do you insist on pushing your friends and people who love you away when we’re only trying to help?” He snapped, causing Hermione to stare at him in shock.

 

“You and Hermione have been with me from day one and you’ve had time after time to turn back, you both know what needs to be done.” Harry began slowly.  “Kiersten is finding all this out minute by minute and it’s hitting her heard.  She overreacts, she panics and she acts irrationally.  She has no clue what’s going on and she flew out of here, knowing her life is in danger.  Tell me Ron, why bring her along?  I love her, but I don’t’ want her dead!”

 

“You’ve never given her enough credit.  Her father is the Dark Lord for Merlin’s sake, Harry!” Ron shouted, defending Kiersten to the fullest.  “She’s probably going through things you could only imagine, mate!  This man KILLED her mother right after she gave birth to his own daughter!  I know your parents were killed as well by him, but she’s got it worse, Harry.  And you just told her that you didn’t love her, that you did that binding spell to help her, when that’s all a bunch of rubbish!  I don’t blame her for leaving, I would’ve too!”

 

“She’s got it worse, has she?” Harry demanded, getting to his feet.  “She has a CHOICE, Ron, a bloody choice!  She doesn’t have to do anything and instead she tosses herself into danger, without KNOWING ALL THE BLOODY FACTS!  Instead of just being patient, she…”

 

“Stop it!” Hermione cried, getting in-between the two.  “We mustn’t fight!”

 

“Because you won’t give her the damn facts, Potter!  You’re constantly leaving her in the dark!  He’s already invaded her mind probably more than he did to you!” Ron shouted back at his best friend, not believing what an insensitive bastard he was being.  “Maybe Kiersten should go this alone since you obviously don’t give a damn if she lives or dies!” He finally spat, shoving Hermione away from him, and stalked out of Dumbledore’s office angrily.

 

Harry and Hermione stared at each other.  “Well, have anything you’d like to add?” Harry demanded icily.

 

Hermione stared at him, her eyes hardening.  “I don’t agree with your methods, but I know why you did what you did, Harry.”

 

“I take part of the blame.” Dumbledore sighed.  “I should have told her more.”

 

“Well…I guess we’d better get to it then.” Harry sighed, suddenly feeling exhausted.  On top of that, he was worried to death about Kiersten and hoped he got to her in time before her life ended.

 

Chapter 14

 

“Luna!” Hermione called out as she and Harry jogged back to the Gryffindor Common Room, needing to pack a few things for their journey.

 

Luna slowly turned around, staring at the pair out of wide eyes, and asked, “Yes?”

 

“Kiersten left, do you have any idea where she would go too…off Hogwarts grounds?”

 

“You must’ve really hurt her feelings.” Luna said to Harry, studying him with an almost shrewd expression.  It had gotten around quickly that Kiersten had run away because of Harry breaking up with her.

 

Harry rolled his eyes, not in the mood to deal with this right now, not when the love of his life was in danger.  “I don’t have time for this, Hermione.  Come on.”

 

“Harry!” Ginny cried as she ran down the hallway, tears pouring down her cheeks, fear in her eyes.  “It’s Ron!  He’s gone!  He left a note saying he was going to find Kiersten!” She started crying, causing Hermione to face palm while Harry’s green eyes just widened.  “You have to find him before he gets himself killed!”

 

“The idiot.” Harry groaned, sharing a look with Hermione.  “Ginny, stay put.” He grabbed Hermione by the arm and ran the rest of the way.  In seconds, they were ready to go, their sacks shrunk and in their pockets.

 

“Harry, why are you carrying your Firebolt?”

 

“Because I don’t know where I’m Apparating too.”

 

“But I don’t like fly-INGGGGGG!” Hermione screeched as he pulled her onto the broom and darted out a nearby window.

 

~!~

 

After hours of studying, Kiersten finally decided to test out blocking others from her mind, and nodded when she got it, closing the book as the tears poured down her cheeks.  She was doing this on her own and didn’t need Harry’s interference, especially after he broke her heart.  She wiped her tears away, tucking her book back in her bag, and finally decided to call it a night as she laid on her sleeping bag she’d brought.  With a heavy sigh, Kiersten just let the tears flow down he cheeks as she stared straight at the tent wall.

 

A few hours later, Kiersten’s eyes shot open as she bolted upright, sweat pouring down her face, and looked around as she lit her wand.  “Lumos!” She whispered, looking around, and sighed with relief when nothing stared back at her.  She slowly looked outside through the thin material of the tent and seen the sun was just raising over the horizon, causing her to nod.  It was better to travel during the day than to actually do it at night, especially with her father.  She quickly packed her things and removed the protection spells before setting out on her journey to the unknown.

 

~!~

 

Harry jostled Hermione when he felt her head rolling backwards.  “Now isn’t the time to sleep, you might fall!” He shouted over the wind whistling in their ears, knowing that would perk her right up.  No need to add that he wouldn’t let her though.

 

“Harry, look.” Hermione pointed down, spotting something in the woods.  Her eyes widened as he zoomed down to the ground, taking in the crumpled grass and post holes in the ground.  “What do you think?”

 

“I think you need to do some of those tracking charms you’re good at.”

 

~!~

 

Kiersten finally stopped, needing a breather, and leaned against the tree as she raked a hand through her messy hair.  Her face was tear-streaked and she had nowhere to go.  “Anywhere is better than Hogwarts.” She muttered under her breath, knowing it would take time to mend her broken heart, and stopped when she heard a twig snap in the distance.  With her wand at the ready, Kiersten stood up, trembling from head to toe, and lit her wand.  “Lumos!” She was shocked at who was standing in front of her.  “Ronald?!” She gasped, who was hiding behind the tree, his own wand out.  “What in the name of Merlin are you doing out here?”

 

“I came to find you.” Ron said simply, though he didn’t lower his wand, eyeing her suspiciously.  “Tell me something only Kiersten would know.” He demanded, suddenly feeling like a fool because he’d been heard.  What if he’d wondered into a Death Eater or something, someone else pretending to be Kiersten?  This hero stuff was harder than it looked.

 

“You’re in love with Hermione Granger and you’re afraid of spiders and anything creepy in general.” Kiersten replied, sounding bored, and shook her head as she raked a hand through her hair.  “You shouldn’t be here, Ron.  It’s dangerous, go back to Hogwarts now.” She ordered, turning around, and heading back to collect her things to continue on her journey.

 

“Right then.” Ron started helping her.  “I’ll go back to nice, safe, warm Hogwarts…if you come with me of course.” He wasn’t surprised when she just shook her head no in response.  “Then I’m coming with you.” Ron grinned broadly.  “Sorry Kiers, but you’re stuck with me.  Now…what is it we’re doing out here anyway?”

 

“Ron, if you’re here with me that means the others aren’t far behind, and I don’t want them to find me.  Just please, leave me be.” She stated, tears in her eyes, and wiped a few stray ones that flowed down her cheeks away.  She could not believe Ron was out here with her and wanted to hex him for being stupid, trying to be the hero like his good pal Harry Potter.  She snorted, her eyes narrowing at the thought of the wizard who stole and broke her heart, and shook her head as she blocked him out once more when he tried probing her mind for her whereabouts.

 

“They’re far enough behind if you’d Apparate.” Ron said flatly, looking at her like she was crazy.  “I left long before Harry and Hermione did.  Look, why don’t we just Apparate to wherever it is we’re going?” He suggested, pulling out a tattered, but clean handkerchief from his back pocket and passing it to her.

 

“That’s the thing, Ron.  I don’t know where I’m going.” She replied flatly, taking the handkerchief, and wiped her eyes, blowing her nose before shoving it in her pocket.  When Ron just stared at her, Kiersten finally sighed as she stopped and looked into his confused eyes.  “Look, I’m the daughter of someone so vile, mean and cruel that you’d run away if you knew.” When she said that, she decided to take a stab and see if it’d work.  “I’m Lord Voldemort’s daughter.”

 

Ron visibly paled, but didn’t move.  “That explains a bit.” He said finally, giving her a once over.  “You look loads better than him though if it’s any consolation.  How bout we Apparate to London?  My brothers have a flat and I’m sure we could stay there until you figure out what is it you want to do or accomplish by running away.”

 

“I’m trying to get away from Harry and you remind me of him, Ron.” She admitted openly, turning around to face him, her face completely streaked with tears.  She gasped when a broom was seen overhead and didn’t think twice about it.  She grabbed Ron’s hand and mumbled London as they Apparated just as Harry and Hermione swooped down, only to see footprints in their midst.

 

“BLOODY HELL!” Harry cursed, not believing that just happened.  He dismounted and began to pace a furious trench in the ground, cursing Ronald Weasley with all his breath.  “That interfering fool…he’s going to get them both killed if she doesn’t first!”

 

“Harry, just calm down.” Hermione suggested waving her wand over the place they’d seen them.  “Just let me do this…”

 

“That was close.” Ron commented, looking around and frowning.  “Those are cars…we’re in Muggle London.”

 

“So we’re in the wrong place?” Kiersten demanded, sighing when he nodded, and took his hands as they Apparated again.  They arrived in the Wizard London and nodded, heading toward Ron’s twin brother’s hideaway until they figured out what to do next.  To make sure nobody seen them so it got back to Harry and Hermione, Kiersten casted an invisible shield around them and walked with Ron.  “They don’t know about this hideaway, do they Ron?” She asked suddenly, stopping to face him skeptically.

 

“They know the twin’s live over their joke shop, but Fred and George are over in Scotland, seeing about opening a new shop there.  So everybody thinks the flat is empty.  Harry will look everywhere dangerous before coming here.” Ron assured her, leading the way up the back steps, knowing the anti-intruder jinxes his brother’s had placed on the flat.

 

“I hope you’re right, Weasley.” She stated and followed him to the flat.  Once they were inside, Kiersten instantly started putting charms up, protective and untraceable ones, things she learned while reading that book.  After that, she started fire in the fireplace while Ron got some Butterbeer out of the cooling box.  When they were finally settled in, Kiersten was staring at the floor, and knew Ron was bursting to ask her questions.  “Just ask Ron, you’ll find out eventually.”

 

“Why’d you run off?  What’s going on with you and Harry?  Is Voldemort after you and Harry?” Ron fired off in rapid succession.  “Why is it Voldemort is just now coming after you?  I mean, he’s had to of known where you were.  You’d think you’d have seen him at least one or twice before, right?”

 

Kiersten seen this coming and took a deep breath, clasping her hands tightly together, and began going over one question one by one.  “I ran off because of what happened between me and Harry.”

 

She then went into the whole spiel about binding their blood together because of the powerful possession Voldemort had on her.  She explained to him about her past, about her foster parents telling her that Tom had died in a war, only for it to wind up false.  She then started telling him about the night in the hospital wing when Voldemort revealed himself for the first time to her and tried killing Harry, in which she protected him.  Finally, she told Ron what Harry told her about how she was not going with him after his seventh year and that he only bonded their blood to help her, not because he loved her, which he said he did.  It was confusing and after three hours, Kiersten finally stopped as the tears silently flowed down her cheeks.

 

Ron sat there quietly for several long minutes, digesting all this information.  Hermione always said he had the emotional range of a teaspoon with the brainpower to match, but he was obviously thinking this over.  “Harry does love you.” He said finally, getting the obvious out of the way.  “Though he’s a git.  He thinks too much about saving everyone to think about what they may want.  He didn’t tell you anything about what we were going to do?”

 

“No, not one word.” She stated, standing, and wrapped her arms around herself, her back to him.  “It does not matter because I never want to see him again.  He broke my heart after saying he wouldn’t.  I should’ve kept this myself and ran away when my father started probing my mind.” She pursed her lips tightly together and wiped her tears away from her eyes angrily.  “I’m going after my father for revenge for my mother, Ron, and I’m doing it alone, without any of you.”

 

“Yeah, so you’ve said.” Ron snorted.  “How were you planning on doing that Kiersten?  What’s your game plan then?  I hope it’s better than ours because more than likely, you’ll wind up dead in minutes.” He studied her openly, shaking his head.  “Look Kiersten, being Voldemort’s daughter doesn’t make you one of those super hero people, it makes you a bit odder then the rest of us, granted, but that’s it.  So…what’s the plan then?”

 

“That’s none of your concern, Ronald.” She stated heatedly, raking a hand through her hair, and set her mug of trying to avenge my mother’s death.” She was not afraid of dying, never had been, and never would be as she stared out the window, pressing her forehead against the cool glass.  “Now, is there anything else you need to ask or want to know?”

 

Ron shook his head.  “Nope.  You explained it.  You’re going to do this all blind and go into battle unprepared, knowing other people have information you don’t, and just fly by on a wish and a prayer.  Gotcha.” He drained his Butterbeer, looking around the flat, taking in the pictures that adorned the walls, along with some posters from Playwizard.

 

“That pretty much sums it up.” She stated, closing the curtains, and without a word left the room.  She didn’t even take two steps out when a knock sounded at the door, causing her to whirl around, her amber eyes widened.  She tried Apparating and was not happy to find out she could not.  “YOU BASTARD!” She shrieked, realizing what Ron had done as he let the visitors in, which were Hermione and Harry.  “EXPELLIARMUS!” She shouted, zapping Ron angrily, and rushed out of the room toward her own to pack her things, putting a lock charm on her door.

 

Chapter 15

 

Hermione rolled her eyes when she found the locking charm on the door and sighed.  “Oh honestly!” She whipped out her wand, pointing it at the door.  “BOMBARDA!”

 

“Have I ever mentioned that she’s a bit scary?” Ron asked Harry in a whisper, watching as the door blew up, fragments flying everywhere. 

 

“At least once a year.  Kiersten, you can’t get out of here.  Hermione’s put everything imaginable on this flat to make sure nothing comes in and nobody goes out.  Now get out here so we can talk.”

 

“RONALD WEASLEY, I’M GOING TO RIP YOUR BLOODY HEAD OFF, YOU BASTARD!” She screamed at the top of her lungs, not believing what was happening, and glared as she held her wand up to Hermione.  “Go ahead Granger, try to stop me from walking out of here and I’ll blast you just like I did to your precious boyfriend.” She sneered angrily, tears in her eyes, and zipped her bag up after getting the last of the items.  If they thought she was staying here against her will, especially with the boy who broke her heart, they were SADLY mistaken.

 

Hermione glanced at Harry, who merely nodded, before flicking her wand.  The next second, Kiersten was hanging upside down in the air by her ankle.  Shaking her head, she retrieved Kiersten’s wand.  “Look, ignore Harry if you must, but don’t be a fool.” She said quietly, handing Harry the wand while Ron picked his up, obviously afraid for his bits.

 

Kiersten could not believe this was happening and if looks could kill, Ron would be dead on the floor by now.  “Put me down right now.” She ordered gruffly, not looking at any of them, knowing Harry had possession of her wand now.  “It’s nobody’s business what I’ve chosen to do with my life.  You have no right keeping me here against my will.” Her voice was a grave, low tone with a dangerous edge to it as her eyes flashed angrily back at the Golden Trio.

 

“You’re going to kill Voldemort by yourself then, are you?” Harry asked evenly, staring at her blankly.  He knew he had to keep his love for her at bay, the walls still up.  Until she stopped being so damn stubborn, he was going to play the game.  “You’ve done gotten yourself into a right mess, Kiersten.  You think you’ll just Avada Kedavra him and that’ll be the end of it?”

 

She refused to talk to him or look at him, keeping her eyes away from his as much as she could.  “I’m getting a head rush Hermione, and if you don’t put me down, I’ll end up vomiting all over the place.” She bit back a smirk when Ron groaned, betting Hermione to release her, but she never acknowledged Harry’s presence.

 

Sighing, Hermione dropped Kiersten to the floor, ropes snaking out of her wand to bind Kiersten.  “Sorry, but it’s for your own good.” She whispered, glancing back at Ron and Harry as if to say ‘help me here’.

 

“You’re not going to get out of here any faster if you don’t talk to me.” Harry said finally.  “I’m not letting you go on this suicide mission, Kiersten.

 

Kiersten glared back at him with amber slits, her lips pursed tightly together, her cheeks turning red from pure anger, not believing he was causing her this much pain.  “I’m going to avenge my mother’s death.” She finally stated her tone low and even.  “If I did, I’ll die knowing I tried.” She then looked away from him, chuckling ruefully.  “For once, Potter,” She practically spat out his name in hatred.  “This has absolutely NOTHING to do with you.”

 

“You going off to avenge your mum’s death has to do with everyone, sorry to inform you.  You’re not the only one to lose family to Voldemort.  What about Neville?  You don’t see him running off half-cocked, do you?” Harry shot back, his green eyes flashing angrily.  “You want revenge, great for you.  We’re at war, Kiersten, there’s more important things to worry about than your vendetta.  You want to help, fine, but don’t act stupid.”

 

“Screw you, Potter!” She spat back at him angrily.  “You’re the one who told me I couldn’t go with you after your seventh year!  You’re the one who LIED to me!” She shouted at him, trembling in anger.  “I KNOW we’re at war, but you forget one very important thing:  I’m Voldemort’s daughter!  I’ve lost more than any of you could possibly ever imagine now LET ME GO!” She shrieked those last three words, trying with all her might to get out of the bindings Hermione put on her, but it wasn’t happening.  “I wasn’t going after him; I was trying to get away from YOU.” She finally admitted tears spilling down her cheeks, and lowered her head as her hair covered her face in shame.

 

Harry blinked, unable to hide the hurt that flickered across his face as well as an expression that said he clearly knew he deserved it.  “I deserve that.” He said softly, finally looking at her again.  “But don’t ever think you’ve suffered more than anyone else because you haven’t.  He’s your dad, yes it bloody sucks.  He killed your mum, that sucks too, but he’s ruined more lives than you’ll ever know Wizard and Muggle alike.  Everyone has suffered.  Now if you want to help, then help.  If you’re just trying to avoid me, then go back to Hogwarts because I won’t be there.”

 

Looking up at him with a tear streaked face, Kiersten nodded, finally feeling the bindings break and stood up as she raked a hand through her hair.  “I’m not going back to Hogwarts.  That bastard has taken enough away from me, from us, and I want to help in any way I can.” She took a deep breath and squared her shoulders, the coldness back in her eyes.  “My wand, Potter.”

 

Harry studied her cautiously before tossing it back to her.

 

“Are we friends again?” Ron asked, glancing back and forth between the pair, wand at the ready along with Hermione in case they needed to run interference.

 

“No, we’re stuck together, that’s it.” Kiersten stated, the hurt flashing in her eyes, but quickly diminished as she glared at all of them.  “Just stay out of my way.” She warned gravely and waved her wand, tripping Ron as the grungy carpet pulled out from beneath his feet and stormed into the room she was staying in, slamming the door harshly behind her.

 

After Kiersten put up silencing charms around her room, she finally collapsed on the bed as the tears flowed freely down her cheeks.  She couldn’t believe Ron had betrayed her trust and lured her here.  What did she honestly expect?  Ron was always going to be Harry’s right hand man in every battle.  “How could I have been so stupid?” She whispered softly, shaking her head, knowing she trusted Ron too fast for her liking.  From now on, she didn’t trust anyone but herself.

 

“Harry, this isn’t going to work.” Hermione said the minute the door was shut.  “If she doesn’t like you, then we can’t trust her.  You need to make things right.”

 

“How?” Harry demanded through gritted teeth.

 

“Tell her the truth that might be a good place to start.”

 

Sighing, Harry let the walls crumple around his mind.  Whenever she wanted to venture a peek, she’d find the remorse there, as well as the truth.  He had been lying.  He did love Kiersten.  He had been trying to protect her because if anything had ever happened to her, he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to go on.  He had thought he was fighting this war for everyone, but now all he wanted to do was end it so he could be with her without worrying about tomorrow.

 

Kiersten kept the walls up in her mind, not wanting to venture into anyone else’s, especially Harry’s.  The thought of him caused her heart to burst with fresh pain, therefore causing more tears to sting her cheeks.  Kiersten couldn’t remember the last time she’d cried this much and stood up from the bed, walking over to stare out the window.  She wrapped her arms around herself and stared at the half shaped moon that glittered in her tear filled eyes and wondered, truly wondered, if Harry ever gave a damn about her.  “He’s a lying prat.” She muttered, closing the blinds, and took out a book as she lit her wand up.  “Lumos.” She whispered wanting to read since no light was in her room.

 

Hermione sighed, glancing at Ron, who seemed to be walking a hole in the carpet then to Harry.  Harry was sitting at the window, staring up at the moon, his shoulders slumped forward.  She couldn’t remember the last time she’d seen him in this shape and knew he was regretting what he’d done, even if it was done with the best of intentions.

 

“Maybe we ought to lock them up together, they’re bound to speak then.” Ron murmured suggestively as he passed by her.

 

The door to Kiersten’s room opened as she walked out, holding her wand tightly in her grasp as she glared at Ron, and ventured into the kitchen for some Butterbeer.  Her body was in a black nightgown that was spaghetti strapped she’d produced with a transformation spell and executed it perfectly.  She took out a mug from the cupboard and poured some Butterbeer into it, taking a sip, and tightened her jaw at the mere thought of being in the same room with the man she thought loved her.

 

Obviously, Harry had heard her, though he didn’t turn around, the walls around his mind still down.  HE frowned when he heard Kiersten shriek and spun around, only to be literally tossed over Ron’s shoulder.  “What the Hell are you doing?” He demanded looking up from the awkward position he was in to find Hermione levitating Kiersten back into the room.  He groaned when they were both chucked in and tried every means possible of opening the door, slumping against it to hear Ron chuckling and Hermione’s nervous giggles.

 

“YOU BLOODY PRATS, LET US OUT THIS INSTANT!” Kiersten shrieked, holding out her wand, and tried blasting it with ‘Bombarda’, but it didn’t work.  “Damn it!” She cursed, raking a hand through her hair, and glared back at Harry as she shook her head, not believing he was in her staying room.  “RONALD WEASLEY, THIS IS THE LAST STRAW!  WHEN I’M OUT OF HERE, I’M TURNING YOU INTO A BLOODY RAT!” She shrieked in a promise, kicking the wall, and proceeded to throw her books off her bed, plopping down on it.

 

“It was Hermione’s idea!” Ron called through the door, sounding desperate.  “You know what she’s like-OUCH, bloody Hell Hermione!”

 

Harry had to smirk, knowing Hermione had probably just slapped him upside the head as she was wont to do. He turned to look at Kiersten, his eyes quickly going over the nightgown she wore before dropping down in a nearby chair in the corner of the room, extinguishing the tip of his wand.  His green eyes gleamed in the pale moonlight as he stared at her.

 

“Keep your distance, Potter.” She warned gruffly, her eyes narrowed to slits, and leaned back against the wall as she pulled the ragged blanket up to her waist, arms crossed in front of her chest.  She couldn’t believe the audacity of Ron and Hermione to do this to her, especially Ron, who had betrayed her trust and friendship twice in one night!  “Bloody prat will pay!” She growled under her breath and leaned over, picking up one of her books, while the rest went back into her bag with a wave of her wand.

 

“Count on it, Riddle.” Harry replied just as gruffly.  He transfigured his clothes to just a pair of black drawstring pajama bottoms, leaning back in the chair with his eyes closed.  Why was it so hard to tell her what he was really thinking?  Why couldn’t he just come out and say what was on his mind and in his heart?

 

Kiersten silently groaned when she’d seen what he’d transformed in to sleep and raked a hand through her hair.  After not able to focus properly on her book, she finally tucked it away and lay down, turning her back to face him.  She clutched the pillow and sighed, closing her eyes, refusing to let the tears fall that stung them.  It hurt so badly for him to be in here with her, especially her heart.  It felt like a million knives were stabbing at it, taking pleasure in her pain, and put a silencing charm around her so he couldn’t hear her sobs.

 

Harry couldn’t hear Kiersten’s sobs, but he could see her body racking with them.  Sighing, he stood up from the chair and walked over to slip under the covers with her, holding her tight when Kiersten went to reach for her wand or push him away.  He refused to allow her to do either one and tightened his hold.  “Kiersten, please…” He whispered throatily.  “Just look in my mind.”

 

Shaking her head, Kiersten tried getting away from him as she sobbed harder, her entire body stiffening and trembling in his arms.  It felt so good being back in them again, but she had to keep reminding herself that he lied to her and broke her heart.  She couldn’t let that happen again.  “Get away from me Potter or you WILL regret it.” She warned gruffly, wiping her tears away hastily.  When he didn’t listen, she knew she had no choice and whipped around, punching him right in the face.  “I warned you to keep your distance, Potter.  Accio wand!” She caught in midair and held it to his throat.

 

Harry knew his nose was bleeding, probably broken, but he didn’t make a move.  He just lay there, bleeding and stared at her with those haunted emerald orbs.  He slowly reached for her wrist, making her dig the wand into his throat.  “If you must, you must.” He said simply, not removing his other arm from around her waist.  Given the circumstances, it shouldn’t have felt comfortable, but it did.

 

“I’m not a murderer.” She stated coolly, pulling her wand from his throat, and kicked him in the side to get him to release her.  She’d punched him so hard he’d fallen to the floor and was now lying prone on it while she scrambled up back on the bed, holding her wand like her life depended on it.  “Now maybe you’ll listen next time.” She then leaned against the wall, clutching her wand to her chest, and kept her eyes open since Harry scared her senseless.

 

Harry just lie there on the floor, reaching up to pinch the bridge of his nose between this thumb and forefinger to stem the flow, suddenly too exhausted to even consider using magic.  “Goodnight, Kiersten.” He said wearily, not moving from his spot.  In the morning, he’d personally kill Ron and Hermione for this.  Then, he’d leave them with Kiersten-to make sure she didn’t do anything retarded- and head out on his own.

 

Chapter 16

 

For some reason, at that moment, Kiersten suddenly decided to unblock her mind, wondering what Harry was thinking.  She heard his thoughts about going out on his own and shot up, running to the door, and began wailing on it.  “HERMIONE, RON, HE’S GOING TO RUN!” She shrieked, causing Harry to bolt upright with his broken nose, and tears were streaming down her cheeks.  “HE’S GOING TO RUN TOMORROW WITHOUT US!”

 

The door opened and light spilled in the room, Hermione and Ron standing with wands at the ready, a strange fuzzy aura about them both, a shield just in case.  Hermione took one look at Harry and frowned, pointing her wand at him.  “Episkey.” She stated, shaking her head.  “What happened?”

 

“She punched me.” Harry shrugged.

 

“Well no wonder he’s going to leave without us.” Hermione rolled her eyes.  “Grow up, the both of you.” She pulled Ron out and slammed the door shut.

 

Kiersten glared back at the door and then focused on Harry, wanting to hex him into the next bloody century.  “Don’t even THINK about leaving without us, Harry.  It’s not going to happen.” She stated gravely, wishing he’d understand this wasn’t just his fight anymore.  She was just as much involved in this as he was and the sooner they both realized that, the better off they’d be.  “And I wouldn’t have punched you had you maintained your distance like I said.  You didn’t listen so you got what you deserved.” Not one ounce of remorse was in her voice or eyes as she held her wand tightly in her grasp in case he tried something, like taking it from her again.

 

Harry stood up, towering over her even though he was a good three feet away.  “Kiersten,” He began slowly, his voice low and husky as he stared down at her with a slight pause, his green eyes unreadable.  “Shut up.”

 

“Take your own advice then, Potter.” She spat heatedly, trying not to become sucked into his husky voice or those emerald green orbs of his that haunted her dreams day and night.  She raked a hand through her hair, still holding her wand at the ready, and slowly walked around him, never turning her back.  She knew if she did for an instant, he’d take advantage and that wasn’t going to happen.

 

Harry turned with her, watching her as if she were some sort of mildly interesting television program before rebuilding mental walls and dropping down onto the bed, laying on his side and watching her, head propped up on his elbow.  He didn’t say a word, just stared at her with a knowing expression.

 

Kiersten glared right back at him; her lips pursed tightly together, and couldn’t believe he’d stolen her bed!  With a sigh, she simply climbed in behind him and sat down, making sure she didn’t touch him.  The walls in her mind were already up as well so he couldn’t read what she was thinking, though most of it was not for children’s ears.  “Stop staring at me.” She demanded, becoming uncomfortable, not relinquishing her wand for an instance.

 

Harry arched one black eyebrow, his lips half curving into a sort of smirk for a brief second before his face resumed its expressionless mask.  “Why?” He asked, still in that low and husky voice, his eyes sweeping over her then slowly back up to rest on her face.

 

“Because you’re making me bloody nervous, you prat!” She spat, though no hatred was in her tone of voice, just uneasiness.  Finally, she looked down, curled up against the wall, her back pressed against it, holding her wand against her cheek, daring him to make ONE move.  If he did, she wouldn’t hesitate to hex him, and didn’t dare close her eyes.  No sleep was coming tonight; she was sure of it.

 

Harry didn’t reply.  He just licked his upper lip before rolling onto his back, folding his arms under his head, and stared up at the ceiling.  In this potion, his biceps were visible; his Seeker build displayed, lightly muscled and toned.  He finally closed his eyes; his way of showing her he wasn’t worried with her.

 

Kiersten bit her bottom lip, staring at him, her eyes roaming every inch of his body now.  His strong biceps, his muscular form, everything about him was lighting her blood on fire.  ‘Damn it!’ She cursed in a thought, scrubbing a hand down her face, and slowly sat up as she placed her wand on her bag before lying back down again.  Though she didn’t close her eyes, not about to trust him as fast again as her heart clenched with pain at the sight of him.  “I can’t do this.” She whispered, getting up from the bed, and started packing her things once more.

 

“Can’t do what?” Harry asked conversationally, not opening his eyes though he could hear her moving about.  “I wouldn’t try running if I were you.  There’s no point.  We’re not getting out of this room without Hermione’s say so.  She isn’t the brightest witch in Hogwarts for nothing, you know.” He didn’t move, just talked to her like this was a normal thing.


“I’m not leaving; I’m simply getting out of this room.” She told him, not looking in his direction, and didn’t answer his question as the tears began spilling down her cheeks.  When everything was packed, she walked over to the door and began working on it, using a spell that she’d learned in her book.  “Come on!” She whispered trying to get the lock to click with her wand as the golden sparks flew silently, hoping this didn’t wake Hermione or Ron up.

 

Harry watched in silent amusement, his eyes widening as a golden light shimmered on the door before forming some words.

 

NICE TRY KIERSTEN!
GO TO SLEEP!

DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME!

 

Hermione had a wicked sense of humor when she wanted too.

 

“Damn it to Hell!” Kiersten shouted, kicking the door, and shook her head as she paced back and forth.  “Stop looking at me!” She turned on Harry, wrapping her arms around herself, and rubbed her arms as she blinked back tears of both annoyance and confusion.  She was annoyed with Ron and Hermione and confused about Harry, finally deciding enough was enough.  “Fine, you want us to talk?” She spat at the door and then walked over, staring down at Harry with a glare.  “Get up.  We’re going to talk so they’ll let us the bloody Hell out of here.”

 

“I am up.” Harry yawned, fluffing a pillow under his head.  “I’m tired; Kiersten and they’re not letting us out until tomorrow.  I already told you, read my mind.  It’d be a Hell of a lot quicker.” He let down the walls and closed his eyes.  “Enjoy, I’m going to bed.  You’re exhausting.”

 

“GET UP RIGHT NOW, HARRY JAMES POTTER!” She roared, tearing the blanket from him, and started hitting him with it as the tears rolled down her cheeks.  “YOU BLOODY BASTARD!  YOU BROKE MY HEART AND NOW YOU EXPECT ME TO JUST COME BACK TO YOU WITH OPEN ARMS?  YOU’RE SO DAMN SELFISH AND I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M STILL IN LOVE WITH A PRAT LIKE YOU!!  HOW COULD YOU LIE TO ME?  HOW COULD YOU DO THAT, HOW COULD YOU MAKE OUR BLOOD LINKED IF YOU NEVER GAVE A DAMN ABOUT ME?  BLOODY MERLIN, I HATE YOU FOR BREAKING MY HEART, AND I HATE THAT I CAN’T FORGET YOU!” She had completely snapped, hitting him with all the anger she had inside of her, not caring if she was hurting him or not.  He deserved it after what he’d put her through.

 

Harry let her wail on him for a few minutes before grabbing her firmly by the waist and sharply turning, all but throwing her on the bed and straddling her.  He didn’t say a word, though his green eyes were blazing.  A second later he was kissing her soundly, effectively, shutting her the Hell up as well as caving in to what he wanted to do since seeing her in that ruddy nightgown.

 

Tears of heartache flowed from the corners of her eyes as Kiersten gripped his strong arms, trying to pry him off of her, but it wasn’t happening.  She finally gave in, slumping against the bed, her arms snaking around his neck and pulling him against her tightly.  She loved him, Merlin help her she did, and missed him so.  She was breathing heavily, her heart beating against her chest, her pulse racing rapidly as his lips lit her completely on fire.  Her blood was like molten lava now as it coursed through her veins and curled her legs with his, a soft moan escaping her lips.

 

Harry broke the kiss first, rolling his forehead against hers.  “I’m sorry, Kiersten.” He murmured.  “I was trying to protect you and muddled it up horribly.  I shouldn’t have done or said what I did, forgive me?” He whispered, pulling away so she could see the truth in his eyes.

 

“How could you do that, Harry?” She whispered at him heartbrokenly, her chest heaving from both trying to breathe from the kiss and the sobs that were tearing throughout her at the moment.  “How could you lie to my face and hurt me like that?” During the kiss, her mind had opened, allowing all of his thoughts into her and vice versa, where she’d seen the truth.  It killed her to know that he’d actually hurt her on purpose and lied to her.  “All I wanted to do was protect you and stand beside you, is that so wrong?” She coughed, her hands still gripping his forearms tightly as her nails dug into his flesh gently.

 

“I’m more used to doing the protecting.” He admitted openly, his gaze intent.  “I don’t want you getting hurt Kiersten, but if you want to come, I’ll not stop you.” He kissed her gently, rolling off her so she could breathe properly.  “Forgive me for being such a damn fool?”

 

“Will you break my heart again, Harry?  Can I trust you with it?” She asked him, needing to know the answer to that question, and sighed with relief when he just nodded his head.  “Yes, I forgive you.” She murmured kissing him this time, and laid back down on the bed since she’d propped herself up on her elbows to ask him those questions.  “I love you, Harry.” She whispered when the kiss broke, their foreheads pressed together as she began kissing down his jaw line.

 

“I love you too.” Harry murmured, gently grabbing her by the forearms and pushing her away.  “No offense, Kiers, but if you keep that up, neither of us will be getting any sleep tonight.” He cautioned, groaning when she smirked at him.  “You’re too damn cheeky, you are.” He rolled away from her so he was lying on his side, tossing an arm over her body and pulling her back against his strong chest.

 

“So are you, love so are you.” She murmured in return and yawned, snuggling back against him, feeling at peace for the first time in three long days.  She knew danger lurked in the shadows, but that wouldn’t stop their love from growing and protecting them.  She tucked her head beneath his chin, entwining their fingers together as they rested on her stomach, and fell into a deep slumber, having not slept a wink in three days since she ran away from Hogwarts.

 

~!~

 

“Well isn’t that cute?” Ron whispered the next morning when Hermione lifted the spells on the bedroom.  “Hermione, you’re bloody brilliant.”

 

“I know, come eat.” Hermione replied cheerfully, pulling him away from the door.  She’d cast shield spells around them again just in case Kiersten or Harry decided a little before noon revenge was in order.

 

“Five more minutes.” Harry grumbled, rolling over and burying his face in the crook of Kiersten’s neck.

 

Kiersten moaned as she slowly opened her eyes, the sun streaming through the window, lighting the room up.  Her vision finally came into focus as she rubbed her eyes, seeing the door was open, and could feel the shield around them, causing a smirk to form on her lips.  Kissing Harry gently, she slowly slunk out of bed and walked out, crossing her arms in front of her chest as she stared at Ron and Hermione.  “So, I trust you two slept well?” She asked, not holding her wand, so she didn’t bear a threat.

 

“We slept quite well, thank you.” Hermione said, setting out plates on the table.  “How about you?”

 

“She’s not dead nor is Harry, what does that tell you?” Ron winced when Hermione clocked him in the back of the head.  “Woman, you keep doing that and I might start rounding you back!”

 

“Not if you like your bits where they are you won’t.”

 

Kiersten just giggled at them and shook her head, knowing they would forever be at each other’s throats.  “Why don’t you two just get married and save us all the turmoil?” She demanded with a smirk, twirling a strand of black hair around her finger, and retrieved a mug of Butterbeer from the counter as she sat down near the fire, chilled suddenly.

 

“Yeah, marrying her would save a lot of turmoil…we could harass each other legally.” Ron snorted, shooting Hermione a sidelong look.  “She wouldn’t have me though.”

 

Hermione rolled her eyes, though she was blushing.  “Oh, honestly!”

 

Harry walked out of the bedroom, scratching his chest and yawned, his normally out of control hair was even wilder.  “Morning everyone.” He greeted softly.

 

“Morning.” Kiersten murmured, sipping her Butterbeer, and smirked at Hermione’s tinged cheeks.  “Ronald, if you keep that up, she might burst into flames.” She laughed when Hermione just gaped at her and shook her head, standing up, and gave Harry a good morning kiss right on the lips.  “Good morning indeed.”

 

Harry smirked, kissing her back before stepping away to yawn again, glancing at Ron and Hermione.  “It’s a bit early to be starting in, don’t you think?”

 

“Shut up, Harry.”

 

“You two should eat, we have a busy day ahead of us.”

 

“I’m not really that hungry…for food.” She added those last two words for added effect, smirking when Harry choked on his Butterbeer, and shook her head as she walked into the bedroom to change her clothes.

 

Hermione and Ron were both eyeing him shrewdly, identical smirks on their faces as Harry started to walk towards the bedroom.

 

“Oi Harry!”

 

Harry turned in time to catch the jar of marmalade Ron tossed him, cocking an eyebrow.  “What the-”