The Lost Bloodlines
Chapter 6: Lines in the sand
Hermione woke up with a contented breath. The room was warm and she felt safe. It was a small surprise when she found tea on her bedside table. "Thank you Pooka." She said softly as she enjoyed her tea. Once she felt a little more awake she gathered her clothing and headed into the shower. Once she was finished dressing, she called Pooka. "Missy Hermes need something?" She smiled at the elf. "Can you help me with my hair?" The elf bounced in place. With a snap Hermione's hair was up in a fishtail braid with an enameled lion at the end. "This is perfect Pooka!" The elf giggled. She picked up her bag. She heard a yawn and saw Noctua stretch out from her pillow. Good morning. Hermione's smile widened. "Good morning Noctua, Scar. Are you ready to go down for breakfast?" Scar shook his head. I think I will remain here. I was on night watch. She thanked him and the two girls went downstairs. "Good Morning Harry." "Morning Hermione, Noctua." She could see a small tea set up for him and they enjoyed a second cup before heading down to the great hall. "Harry?" The taller green eyed boy looked at her. "Yes?" "What do we do about Ron?" He shook his head. "I have no idea. I saw his expression last night. If he wasn't worried about Courage I think it would have been a fight last night." Hermione nodded. They were suddenly swamped by three redheads.
"Percy, Fred, George, What is it?" Percy rolled his eyes. "The twins want to meet your cousin." Hermione and Harry burst out laughing. The twins frowned. "Its not you, guys. Astra is down right evil before at least two cups of tea. Draco and I have a bet laid." Eyebrows rose. "You'll see." They made it into the hall and Harry raised a hand in greeting to Ravus and Draco who were nursing their coffee. Draco showed him a jingling pouch. Both smirked. They sat together making cups of tea and waiting. Harry was asking Percy about transfiguration when something bumped into his back growling. The clawed fingers grasping shortly received an full cup of tea. Soft sips could be head along with muttered threats. "Mornings are evil." Hermione snickered. "Anything early is evil to you." A snort. "Word!"
Then a bellow made Astra drop her tea cup, it smashed on the floor at her feet and splashed tea on her boots. "What the fuck is a Slytherin doing here!? Harry are you fucking her? Is she a tart?" Hermione stood up before the boys could. "How dare you Ronald Weasley! You leave her..." The sentence was cut off by Ron hitting the smaller girl. Suddenly Ron was on his back a few feet away. The Slytherin was on him and powerful blows were raining down on him, he hit back a few times but she wasn't stopping. Her hits were brutal and quick. Her eyes were changing colors as she hammered him without remorse. Suddenly she was drug away by a powerful form. Bill Weasley was doing his best to restrain both his temper and his favorite Slytherin. "Percy, Go get Professors Snape and McGonagall!" The third Weasley son hauled his pert freckled booty to the teacher's meeting room and knocked on the door. Flitwick answered it. "Mr. Weasley, what's the matter?" He smiled at his second favorite professor. "Sorry sir, But Bill needs Professors McGonagall and Snape."
Both professors rose and followed him. "Can you tell me what this is about Mister Weasley?" He shook his head. "Sorry Ma'am. Its best if you heard it from him." They got there and saw Bill restraining a Slytherin while Harry and Draco were helping Hermione sit up. "Miss Granger! What happened?" Noctua was standing between her and Ron now. "Professor.. Ron started a ruckus because Astra came to see Harry. He called her things I will not repeat in good company. Then when I tried to halt the matter he struck me in the face.. Astra went after him and you see the outcome." Minerva looked to see Ron bleeding and watching through swelling eyes. The Duarti was still twitching against William's hold. "Is this true?" Severus asked his new Slytherin. "Damn right it is! Rules said no magic, but nothin' to do with muggle fisticuffs. Draco and Harry had to rennervate her. He hit her that hard." Severus suppressed a smile. "Well Minerva, it seems the youngest male Weasley attacked one of his own only to be put on his back by one of my Slytherins for the offense." Minerva was so mad she could barely see straight. "Mr. Weasley escort your youngest brother to Madam Pomfrey then to my office. Lady Peverell's hands are bleeding." Astra blinked and looked down.
Her knuckles were split and dripping blood. "Shit. I broke at least one." Severus looked at her. "And how do you know that?" She chuckled. "Can't unbend a few." He shook his head amused. "Come along. I will take you and Miss Granger to Pomfrey." Astra looked at Ravus. "I have your bag don't worry." She smiled at him and the three left the two girls supporting each other. Pomfrey looked at the two. "Oh dear! What happened?" Astra grinned. "A sad excuse for a man hit my best friend. So I gave him a reminder to respect women." Hermione got checked first. "A cracked cheekbone and deeply bruised shoulder." Snape nodded.
Astra showed the healer her hands. "Four knuckles broken one cracked. Bruising along ribs, chest and shoulder." Astra nodded. "He kneed me in the back can you fix that too?" More mutterings. "And I owe your house five points. Which are you?" Astra proudly pointed to Snape. "I'm his problem. I'm a Slytherin." Poppy laughed. She could see the resemblance between them. Severus had been bullied all his school life. Astra seemed to have learned to fight because of the same thing. "Well five points to Slytherin then." The Duarti grinned. "Thank you!" The two were sent on their way to their first class. "Well least we won't be late to Transfiguration cause of this mess." Hermione laughed. "I think you just became the hero of Slytherin." Astra shook her head. "Your shitting me!?" Hermione snickered. "We'll see." "Fuck!" The two laughed all the way to the class.
Astra plopped into the seat between Harry and Draco. "Shit." Draco raised one blond eyebrow. "What happened?" "Broke four knuckles rearranging the dick-less bastards face." Harry and Draco pulled out their bags and handed them to Ravus. "Damn he called it." Astra looked at Ravus. She realized he'd put one bag in his pocket one in his book bag. Then it came clear. Will. She smiled at him. Hermione was seated with Ravus and another Gryffindor. When the professor came in with Ron trailing behind he sat with Seamus and Dean. They got down to work on changing rocks into semiprecious stones. The lesson went well and Astra managed to make a rather stunning statue of her head of house. "Sweet!" McGonagall allowed her to take it with her and she carried it to their next lesson which ironically was potions. Astra saw Pansy was trying to sit in the open seat next to Draco. "Oi, keep your fucking skanky ass out of my seat." Pansy whirled around to find Draco's, Ravus', Harry's and Hermione's wands out and raised. "You beast!"
Astra growled. "What is this?" She turned to see Severus standing there. "Isn't it a crime to call a Duarti a beast? That is uncouth and simply preposterous!" Severus winced internally. "It is a punishable crime to call a Duarti a beast." Pansy scoffed. "And what proof do you have?" Hermione snarked three words that made Slytherin look at her as someone to be weary of. "Heard and witnessed!" Astra grinned. "Unlike you I make real friends, comrades that I can rely on through thick and thin." Astra turned away and with a sniff she settled herself between Draco and a large chubby boy. The class got underway and Astra thoroughly enjoyed making the potion. She bottled her sample then wrote her name on it with her pen and, as she was getting ready to take it up to the Professor for grading Draco held up his sample. "Will you deliver this too please? I need to clean my calderon." She nodded and took them up.
Holding her hands open for him to pluck away and read the labels. "I see Mr. Malfoy trusts you with his grade." She smiled. "I'm not goin' to sabotage a good friend for some BS. Draco knows that." He felt a box slide against his calf. He smirked, cunning little snake. "Off with you." She saluted him and picking up her bag she gathered her things, put the stuff away and left the classroom. She waited until the others joined her and listening in she overheard some of the other Slytherins talking about her. "She really beat the stuff out of the youngest Weasley son and none of the others are mad at her?" She heard an older lower voice. "Yeah, The eldest gently pried her off Weasel and she trusted him enough to keep her wand sheathed. I heard the Prefect one ask her how she was doing when they met in the hall. She gave him a napkin package. A couple muffins from what I was told. She felt bad he hadn't gotten much breakfast. Charms is next but, I saw her stand up to McGonagall and the old cat had to admit a Slytherin was good! McGonagall didn't even take points for her cursing.." She heard the two move away then her classmates spilled out and the group walked up to charms.
By lunch the rumors had gone wild. Astra made her way to her house table and she noticed a rather burly sixth year in front of her. "Who are you?" His teeth were crooked when he smiled. "Marcus Flint." Her eyebrow raised. "Aren't you the Captain of the Quidditch team for the house?" He blinked but nodded. "Why yes, how did you know?" She smiled at him. "Draco told me. He said I would know you when I saw you. Strong enough to be a beater but plays Keeper." He grinned. "Would you like to sit with me and my friends for lunch?" She blinked surprised. "Ok, is it alright if Ravus sits with us? He is my Sentinel." Marcus bowed to her. "Of course! Forgive me for not speaking with him first." She smiled and extending her left hand he kissed her ring. "Please don't worry, I promise Ravus won't be upset." He offered his arm to her and they came over to where Ravus was seated. "Sentinel Gaunt, a word please?" Several Slytherins bowed their heads to him. "Of course Heir Flint." Ravus rose and offered his arm and Astra came to him, their tails entwining. Stepping a few steps from the table Marcus started talking. "I wished to ask you and Lady Peverell to join my friends and I at lunch. I unknowingly left you out of the loop." The red eyed male blinked then patted the older boy's shoulder. "You could not have known, we would be perfectly happy to join you. Give me but a moment to speak to Draco." Astra asked Marcus a few quidditch questions and he smiled happy to have someone to talk quidditch with. Ravus returned holding both their bags and they made their way down the table to the sixth year section. "I thought you were going to invite the pretty girl, not her and her boyfriend." Marcus sighed. "Shut up Yaxley. He is her Sentinel." A few blinked and they made room.
The first few weeks of classes were uneventful after the incident. Astra would pester Harry for her first two cups of tea. Then go sit at the Slytherin table and have breakfast. Crabbe asked Ravus why this was so about a month and a half later. "Astra is very snappy before her tea, she cares enough about Slytherin not to inflict her foul temper on us until she's awake and in a better mood." Crabbe grinned. "She's being mean to the Gryffs?" Ravus snorted. "Sarcasm is a weapon and she's polishing hers." It was the next day that Harry was late to breakfast Astra grumbled and Percy found out she was an equal opportunity snugger. A bump between his shoulder blades made his cheeks flush when he heard the usual morning rant. Grabby fingers came over his shoulder and the claws flexed. Cormac pouted. "Why you cuddling him?! Shouldn't you pick a more handsome guy?" Her eyes appeared over Percy's shoulder then she rested her chin on on it. "Fuck you, asshole. I just happen to enjoy the smell of books he carries. Besides he sits his yummy self in the library for hours keeping me up to snuff in Arythmancy.. And I get to spend a long while arguing with him on the finer points of hexes." Cormac scoffed, Percy's face was in flames. "And what if anything can Percy the prat do with a wand?" A low feminine chuckle made hair stand on end. "Depends on the wand he's using.. And by the way." She hexed him and half of Gryffindor simply burst into laughter. His head and hands were turned into the hooves and such of a pig. "OINK!"
A large prefect wearing Slytherin colors approached the table. "What is HAHAHAHAHA.." His speech died as he burst into loud guffaws. The Slytherins got curious what had made Avery laugh like that and soon nearly the entire hall was echoing with laughter. "Sexist pigs do not eat with civilized people." Minerva and Severus made it through the crowd. "What is going on here!" Percy gently rose and Astra snugged her face back into his back. "Professor, McLaggen was acting uncouth and crude and insulted both myself and Lady Peverell. To the level that many of my brothers would have called a duel to defend our honor." Severus turned to Avery. "Corbin, what happened from your side?" He recounted hearing the slur hurled by Cormac then asking if Lady Peverell required help to see she had punished the offender for insulting the other prefect. "Lady Peverell?" Astra stuck her head under Percy's arm making him blush more. "He started being a dick to a prefect I am rather fond of. A slander such as that I won't stand for. Cuddle Weasley or not. Its total bullshit if he gets away with making sexist comments and disrespects his houses prefects. Slytherin isn't like that." Severus smirked turning to his colleague. "We find ourselves here again Minerva, One of my Slytherins defending a lion cub. Now its a Prefect?" Her Scottish brogue was slightly terrifying. "McLaggen! My office now!" As he walked away Astra flicked her wand and bag pipes started to play a durge. To the surprise of all Minerva smiled. "Five points for Slytherin for an accurate musical accompaniment." Astra looked stunned. Muttered curses came from behind Percy as she put her head back between his shoulder blades.
It was only a week later when the first attack occurred. Astra was walking back from Charms when she heard something in the next corridor. She hauled it there to find someone on the ground. She lit her wand and gasped. "Avery! Avery, wake up! Please!" She realized he was bleeding badly. As steadily as she could she used a charm to halt his bleeding and carefully cast a parselmagic stasis charm on him. "Do NOT die on me Avery!" She picked up his wand and spelled his bag to float behind her. She summoned a floating stretcher and her dragons appeared then. "Baran quickly get Professor Snape! Ambrose warn the Healer!" The dragons split off to their duties as she made her way to the hospital wing.
Several people were in her way. "GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY WAY!" They lept aside. "Selwyn help me! Avery's hurt!" The Slytherins jumped in forming a wall around her. "Punch me a hole to the healer! Or he's going to die!" They moved steadily and as quick as they could. Pomfrey was at the door Ambrose flying around her head. "Oh dear! Quickly!" She took over and the Slytherins were amassing in the hall. "Fucking no one gets in there until Professor Snape arrives!" Nods and soon the hall was filled with Slytherins.
Severus was teaching first years when the dragon burst into his classroom and flew around him, it landed on his shoulder and placing its head against his he found an image in his mind's eye. Astra and Avery and the shape the boy was in followed by two words. Healer. Help! Severus dismissed the class and gathering things set out for the wing at once. He arrived ten minutes later to find the wall. He passed through and he noticed the bloodstained floating book bag. "Later." She nodded at him tiredly. Hours passed and the wall remained. Astra summoned a few elves to pass out tea and nibbles but they didn't leave. Severus emerged to see his 3rd years and up still surrounding the wing entry. "Good to see your show of unity my Slytherins." An elf appeared and held up a tray with a steaming cup of coffee on it. "I needed this." The man sighed. "Avery was nearly lost from bleeding out. Whatever charm you cast on him saved his life." Astra smiled slightly as he examined the floating bag.
She explained how she found him and what she'd heard. "But here is the weird thing, I could smell something but I didn't hear whoever it was running away." Severus did think it odd. "Did you find his wand?" Her tail came forward and he received the wand. He heard running steps and turned to see Ravus, Harry, Draco and five Weasleys. "Sorry Professor Snape, Professor McGonagall wouldn't let us leave without an escort." Astra used some fancy footwork and flung herself into the eldest Weasley's arms. Severus filled the two new professors in. "And that is why Lady Peverell is understandably upset." Charlie walked over and felt his wrist wrapped by a tail. He curled his fingers gently around the fuzzy lifeline. "Weasley, take her to get something to eat, Poppy said she could go into shock. I'm needed here." They nodded and Bill scooped her up, the lot heading for the kitchens. Once they were out of hearing range she spoke. "Lets head to the founder's tower." She pointed out the way then called for Vesper. "Yes Great mistress?" She smiled. "Where is the common room you spoke of?" He took her down the hall to a huge tapestry of Hogwarts. Hermione touched it and it seemed to melt away and they stepped into a huge space with cozy chairs and couches and a large fireplace.
With some elvish help dinner was served and Astra was pinned between Bill and Ravus. Harry groaned. "Why does this feel like more bullshit I don't want?" Hermione looked over at him. "Because its us?" He nodded sagely. "I could feel his life slipping away.." The haunted voice whispered. "You saved that boy." Bill said. She sniffed and blue tinged tears dripped down her cheeks. She was picked up and cuddled until she cried herself to sleep. A light blanket was draped over her. "So now what?" Charlie said and Hermione sighed softly. "We have problems, Corbin Avery is a pureblood. They will all think if he can be attacked and nearly killed anyone can." Harry looked up. "It doesn't make sense.. Why attack a Slytherin?" Heads shook. "No idea."
A couple of days passed as Astra was entering the hall that she saw Professor Snape was waiting. "Come with me Lady Peverell. Someone wishes to speak with you." She followed him to the hospital wing where a couple waited. The woman brushed past the professor and hugged Astra tightly. "Dear dear child, thank you." Astra was shocked but slowly hugged the well dressed lady. "I know this smell, your Avery's mum." The woman blinked but smiled. "Yes I am." Astra smiled. "He stuck your letters in his robe pocket to read them later, but they always smelled faintly like your perfume." Tears trailed down the woman's cheeks. The man approached. "You little Peverell lady, have done the Avery family a great service. You saved our Heir." She smiled at him. "Avery is a defender of Slytherin. He was kind to me and my Sentinel. Seeing him like that was terrifying, but I am glad I was able to help him." The man smiled. "I'm Lord Romulus Avery. You may have one gift from the house of Avery. Please choose one." She blinked, looking at Professor Snape. He smirked and she turned back to the parents. "All I desire from the house of Avery is friendship. No material item is worth a friend's life. Especially not the life of the heir." The woman hugged her tightly and his father silently wiped a tear away. "Well said young Lady. The house of Avery will hold you as its ally and friend." She blinked. "Will he return when he's better?" Both shook their heads. "I'm sorry dear. Its not safe." She nodded wished them well and watched them leave.
"This is cruel." Severus scoffed. "Far more cruelty to come I believe." Astra nodded. "Wish you were wrong but I feel your not. I was asked to pass this on to you." She held out a shrunken package. Severus took it and seeing the tag his heart skipped a beat. "This is from.." Astra smiled sadly. "Yeah. We heard the will. She left it for you and you alone." Astra turned and left. Severus with only the iron will of control resisted from running back to his rooms to open the last gift Lily ever gave him. Percy was just short of yelling at Ron when a bump caught him between the shoulder blades. He heard a sniff and carefully turned around. "What is the matter?" She hugged him around the waist and nosed her way against his chest to cry. He barely understood the mumbled words between sobs but when he was approached by several Slytherins he had an answer. "Apparently Avery will not return. His parents took him home. He'll go to Drumstrang when he's healed." Ravus rubbed her back and her tail coiled with his but she didn't let go of Percy. "What's this?" McGonagall said. It was explained and the woman softened slightly. She could see the Prefect was in no hurry to disentangle himself from the younger Slytherin. Both were dismissed from classes for the day and spent it in the library reading and talking. Hermione appeared as soon as lunch started with Harry right behind her. "Oh Astra I heard." Astra nodded, Hermione knew who she wanted now. "Harry grab us a picnic basket from one of the elves and we'll go outside I'll go get the others." Astra and Percy left the hall. Hermione sent Noctua to see if Bill was still in his classroom, she was told he was and asked her to keep him in there.
She ran over to the Slytherin table surprising pretty much everyone there. "Hermione!" Draco said totally surprised. "Draco, Ravus come have lunch with us. We got Percy to pull Astra out of the library to eat." Both men were up and grabbing their bags followed her out. They found the classroom and heard Bill cussing as he tried to leave again. "Sorry Bill! It was me who asked her to keep you here until I arrived." The curse breaker glowered. "Come have lunch with us and try to get Astra to talk please!?" Bill blinked. Ok, that's not a bad request for trapping me in here. "Is that why you trapped me in my classroom?" Hermione nodded to his question. "Astra likes Percy but you and Ravus are well, she trusts you as much as she does me." Bill blinked then his ears and face turned a brilliant red. Was his magic pulling them together? Was that the reason when he heard Percy was comforting her his blood boiled? "Alright. I need to eat anyway." They met up with the others and when she saw him, he watched her face light up. She waited until they were settled on the big blanket after he put up the warming wards. She snuggled into his side and he felt the soft vibration from her purring. He saw she relaxed completely. Bill looked at Percy. "Thank you for keeping her company." Percy saw Hermione smile at him too and his chest puffed up as his magic seemed to take a boost from their gratitude.
"I didn't quite understand why she kept muttering 'I want Will.' She was crying so much she hissed." Several more attacks happened over the following weeks, however none of the Gryffindors had yet been attacked. The group was on their way to COMC. "If I start to do something out of character or blatantly stupid stun me." Something about the way he said it made them weary but they nodded. "Happy to Draco." Harry said with a grin. The blonde laughed. Astra could see Ron coming towards them. "Fuck. Its the runt." Ron was suddenly stopped by twin blurs who had come up the hill. Astra smiled at the duo. "Thank you Gred and Forge!" She called and both blushed. Astra looked at Hermione confused. "Why the red faces?" Hermione only giggled. "I'll tell you later." Astra followed along and they gathered around Charlie. "Good Morning! I'm Charlie Weasley and everyone knows Hagrid." The class waived at him. He was gleefully cheerful today was going to be amazing. "Today is a special day for Hogwarts. Today you will see Dragons!" Eyes went wide and mouths dropped open. Suddenly two flaming dragons lit several small acromantula a blaze. "Amazing!" one Slytherin girl sighed then the blue eyed dragon grew to the size of Charlie and landed beside him. "This is Sakura. She has graciously accepted to sit in on this lesson." He went over the different parts of a dragon and several took notes. "Now open your books to page 231." Draco looked at Charlie with his belted book. "How?" Astra pulled hers out and gazed at its eyes. "Open." It lay open and she pet the book. "Good book." Hagrid came over and removed the belt and showed Draco how to pet his book into submission. "Like that, petting them makes them like you." Astra looked at the half giant. "Love the choice in books." Hagrid watched the dragons pick up and remove the flesh eating slugs and stuff them into a large glass jar for Professor Snape. "Useful little things." They were assigned a small set of parchment work. And each student were permitted to pet Sakura once. "What a beautiful dragon." Sighed Millicent Bulstrode.
Suddenly another arrived growing itself and growling as it stared at the forest. "He sees something Hagrid. Something bad." Astra said to the man now holding a huge crossbow. "Right, I'll go check it out the lot of ya stay near Charlie." Ambrose followed Hagrid and they found what remained of two nundu and several humans it seemed the humans were harvesting illegal nundu parts. A centaur appeared and seeing Hagrid relaxed his bow. "They committed a terrible crime." Hagrid nodded. Then he spotted a couple of cages the dragon was nosing. With the application of a little strength Hagrid opened the cages a small white nundu ran out and hid in a bush. The second cage had an egg in it. Hagrid recognized it was a dragon egg. "They can not remain here." The centaur said. Hagrid nodded and he saw the dragon picked up the nundu, the pair returned to the waiting class. "Its alright. The bad is gone." Ambrose set the cub before Astra. It shivered and shook but she knelt down and began to pet it. "She's so young." The egg was set in a basket with warming charms on it. When class was finished Charlie handed her the basket. "Sakura keeps trying to bring you the basket." It belongs to you Mistress. It is one of us. Astra nodded. "She says its mine." He transformed the basket into a padded satchel. "Go on with you. Who do you have next?" Astra smiled at him. "Will." He smirked. "You take that little thing to him and he will talk to the Director." She nodded and walked away the tiny white nundu in her arms. Hagrid came up alongside him. "Sweet little lady." Charlie grinned. "She is the only family Harry has left."
Dumbledore was pacing furious. That Duarti was messing everything up! Harry was meant to be kept alone so he would die when the proper time had come but his instruments were still broken and it made him wonder about the horcrux in the boy. Duarti had immense magic and it wasn't always their will it conformed to. Both he and Riddle had cheated Death. It was possible that was why they were here. But he had dug up the documents that the Duarti was now responsible for Harry and his estate. Albus was so angry that the goblin had smugly told him no one but Lady Peverell and Lord Potter was permitted to see to the matters of the Potter estate. Several items around his office had vanished he figured Gringotts was recalling them since he had borrowed them from Harry's vaults. Little did he know it was the house elves that were taking things back to Gringotts on behalf of Astra. He had manipulated the wards to allow the dementors closer then they should have been but so far there were no attacks by them. Yet his other plan about settling the score with the purebloods wasn't going well either. He paced back and forth trying to figure out what to do.
Hermione found the little cub to be adorable. "Its so cute, how old is it?" Astra snugged it into her robe. "A month at most." They entered the classroom and Bill's eyebrow raised. She proudly showed him the little cub. "How'd you get this one?" "Hagrid found her and Ambrose brought her back for me she was the only survivor." He shook his head with a smile. Why, was her affinity for deadly beasts adorable to him. "She can sit in a basket under your desk." They arranged themselves and Ravus groaned as he flopped into his chair. "I hate muggle studies. Its so wrong and outdated." Astra grinned at him. "Why would you take such a horrid course?" Ravus snickered. "To see how bad it was. And I already withdrew." Eye rolls and both chuckled as they waited for everyone else.
A couple days later Astra had found her headphones and Ipod since with help from Mrs. Potter's journal they had warded their electronics from going boom. After settling Yuki the little nundu into her floating basket. Astra checked on the egg and it was much larger today. The hatchling grows strong. Magic and affection makes for quick growth.. Astra smiled. That's excellent! Thank you for being so attentive to our new friend. She left her room dancing down the hallway. She didn't notice the opened mouth looks she was getting from several of the guys. She did the booty wiggle down the stairs and one seventh year wound up with a bloody nose, from walking into a wall while staring. She danced into the great hall not knowing a couple of Weasley's did spit takes seeing, especially when she did a move that made her drop low and wiggle her tail. She did some fancy footwork and Hermione laughed. Hermione noticed the rhythm and stood recognizing the beat. "Can't touch this?" "Woot! Its hammer time!" They did the bump and Harry jumped in and the three set into the dance with a will. Harry playing the part of MC Hammer. As the song wound down she danced her way over to the Slytherin table and Bulstrode surprised several people when she joined her fellow Slytherin in the iconic dance. Being nearly the same height drew some serious attention. Both burst into laughter. "Now that's hammer time." They laughed themselves silly. She reached over and grabbed a goblet and took a drink with a yelp horns grew out of her head and Ron burst into laughter. Astra looked at Draco. "Horns. Deep breath.. Easy..." Ron wondered why more people weren't laughing at her. But then Harry walked over to the trembling Slytherin. "Deep Breath cousin. Come on I'll walk you to the hospital wing. Madam Pomfrey can fix this no problem. He's not worth your first detention." She wouldn't look at William. She felt horrified. Harry walked her out of the hall and after a while with Madam P, the Slytherin's eyes gleamed with revenge. "That was Draco's goblet you grabbed." She nodded. "They pranked me.. Time for Vengeance." He hoped the twins were ready.
It took four days before her revenge became apparent. The twins and Ron were making the most hilarious and somewhat vulgar dance moves. To a loud 80's song. Harry's eyes were huge. "Baby got back.. Oh Merlin. They really upset her." When the song ended everyone was looking up in awe. "This prank has been served up by the Slytherin Prank Master." Draco read aloud. "Bloody Hell." Then a new song was started and the four danced to Ice Ice Baby. Charlie and Bill couldn't wipe the smirks off their faces. Percy looked at the card in his hand. Because you didn't laugh, you are spared from my revenge. He was utterly relieved. Just about everyone in the hall was nearly in tears. Meanwhile Astra was sitting in the founders common room having breakfast. She was glad it was a Saturday and she didn't have to leave the tower. The three now very tired Gryffindors slunk up to their eldest brothers. "Oww." Came from the twins. "Your not going to take points for this?" Ron whined. "From who Ron?" "All of them! They laughed." The twins winced finally realizing the lesson. "We started it Ron. We pranked the Slytherins and one of them got even." Charlie smirked. "Might teach the pair of you not to prank so blindly won't it? Believe me this was very tame compared to what could have happened."
Hermione walked passed them. "You deserved it." She sang as she picked up her bag and left the hall. She found Astra lingering over her tea. "You really got them good." The Duarti smiled. "It isn't over yet." During the day the boys found themselves totally unable to lie. And wound up with some detentions and in Ron's case a nice glowing hand print from Elizabeth Moon when he told her she was ugly. Breakfast the next day was interesting to say the least. She arrived early and sat at the Slytherin table and was sipping her tea when she felt eyes on her. She could see eyes staring at her. She felt a tug on her vest and turned in her seat to see the twins on their knees. "We're not worthy! We're not worthy!" They bowed to her and her cheeks pinkened. "Please forgive us?" She knew the truth spell hadn't worn off yet so they were being honest. "You won't prank me anymore?" Both shook their heads. "Promise?" They nodded rapidly. She leaned forward and kissed each of their foreheads. "There prank over."
Three very red faced teens were looking at each other. "Can we ask you a serious question?" Her ears flicked backwards but she nodded. "Sure." They scrunched up their lion's courage. "Would you be willing to go to Hogsmeade with us?" Astra flushed but smiled. "Sure! So long as you promise to take me to try butterbeer. And explore the village. Maybe even think up more pranks!" Huge grins crossed their faces. "See you next Saturday at 10?" She nodded. "Sounds great!" They seemed to float around when all seven Weasleys met for lunch in the kitchens. "What in the bloody hell is up with the two of you?" Ron asked with his mouth full, spewing bits of chicken everywhere. "Eww Ron!" Ginny said. Bill frowned at his youngest brother. "Ginny is right that was disgusting!" Ron shrugged but to everyone's amazement the food shortly vanished from his plate and every time he reached for more it vanished from the plates until he moved away. "What the hell!" The twins grinned. "Seems Ronny didn't apologize." The youngest boy glared. "Apologized to who?" Percy rolled his eyes then sipped his tea. "You laughed at someone and hurt their feelings. The twins obviously acted like proper men and apologized to the Lady." Fred and George nodded. "We did and it got even better!" Eyebrows raised. "We asked the lovely Lady Peverell to Hogsmeade and she agreed!" Charlie subtly caught his elder brother's wand arm.
"Did you ask her on a date or simply as friends?" The twins shared a glance. "Crap! We didn't ask for a date!" Bill relaxed slightly. The door opened and Ravus and Harry stepped in. "Sorry Bill, we needed a snack and this was closest." Dobby appeared. "The Great Harry Potter comes to visit Dobby? Are you hungry?" Harry nodded. "We are Dobby. This is Ravus, a friend. We also are feeding Hermione and my cousin Astra." Dobby jumped up and down.
"Great Harry Potter needs food! Dobby will see to it right away." Harry smiled. "Dobby, no onions on anything someone eating with us is allergic." Dobby popped away. "Where are you eating Harry?" The young Lord smirked. "Astra got us a good spot near the whomping willow." The Weasley's blinked. "And no one has been whomped?" Ravus laughed. "Percy please remember who your talking about. Astra keeps company with dragons, nundu and other terrifying creatures. She's usually the one who whomps." Bill nodded. "Got room for more?" He looked at the others and only Ron was shaking his head. "Are you kidding Astra would turn my hair pink for a year if you weren't invited." Charlie snickered. "I remember that. What did you do to make her so angry?"
Harry colored and Ginny nearly swooned. "I spilled pumpkin juice on her favorite night shirt, I don't see why she didn't just wash it." Ravus looked at him and sighed. "Its because of the scent. Washing it destroyed the scent she loved. Thus the reason she burst into tears then hexed you." Bill's ears were red he knew what shirt they spoke of. Charlie had brought her their old quidditch jerseys, she preferred Bill's. He remembered seeing her in tears, his heart felt like it was being ripped from his chest. He'd worn it while playing a few games with the boys and then gave it back. She'd cast some kind of spell on it to trap his smell in it then washed it. His scent remained but the sweat was washed away.
Charlie sighed but grinned. "Duarti's senses are just as fine tuned as a Werewolf's because in ancient times Duarti protected wizards and witches from Werewolves." Ron exploded. "What the hell does that have to do with me not being able to eat! I don't care what the Tart is, says or does! Just let me eat!" No one expected Percy to reach over and slap his brother out of his seat. "I am ashamed of you Ronald. I will be writing home to mother at once." Bill held up his hand. "Don't bother Percy. I'm taking him home to Mum as soon as I speak to Professor McGonagall." It took no time at all for Bill to haul Ron up to McGonagall's office. "I apologize for this but I need to drag him home and speak with my mother." A brief overlay of the incident that occurred over the Weasley lunch had her pointing to the fireplace. "A week suspension for such bigotry. I will not have it in my house." The duo went through the floo and Bill called out for his mum. She bustled in and he held up his hand to speak. "Mum, Ronald has been suspended for a week. We need to have a serious talk. I sent a patronus for dad." Ron was made to sit at the table and wasn't given any snacks. A short time later Arthur arrived. "Bill! How good st see you again son. What's happened?" Bill sighed but got his parents to sit down. "I'm utterly horrified but you need to know somethings. First have you received a letter from Professor McGonagall?" Both shook their heads. "Around a month ago Ronald physically struck someone hard enough to knock them out. And got his arse handed to him for the trouble." Molly looked about to explode until he continued. "The person he hit was a girl mum. A girl you know and adore... He struck Hermione." Molly's hands went to her pale mouth. "Ron you didn't?!" The youngest male Weasley scoffed. "The little bint got in my way. That Slytherin tart was who I wanted to hit." Bill's eyes narrowed. "She is Harry's cousin. Lady Peverell rightly took offense to his words and they put him down hard. This is also the same Lady who offered Charlie a job that brought him back to England. She spends time with Percy studying Arythmancy. She got the twins to apologize to her and agree to never prank her again. And to top all of that.. SHE SAVED MY LIFE!"
He bellowed at his youngest brother. Molly got up and stood before him. "She did?" He nodded. "I nearly was struck by an Egyptian black asp. She faced it and it backed down. Duarti serve only one master." Arthur got up and came over. "She's?" Bill nodded and pulling a tiny photo from his pocket returned it to its proper size and Molly and Arthur could see Astra hugging Bill, Ravus guarding her other side. Harry was standing next to Charlie with Hermione and Draco between them. "This we took the day before everyone left for Hogwarts. Ron is making powerful enemies. Harry wanted to write to you but didn't know how to not sound like he was whining. He respects you a lot. Astra does too." Molly and Arthur retreated into the other room and when they returned it was Arthur that spoke. "Ron, you have disappointed your mother and I. You will spend your week home doing chores. No magic, no quidditch and no owls. You are going to learn to behave." Ron exploded. "What! Just because of this Tart I get a shitty deal! That isn't fair!" A smack from Molly set him back in his chair. "Go to your room! I don't want to hear anything out of you until dinner."
Bill sat and his mother brought tea. "Oh Bill, what should we do with him?" The oldest son shook his head. "I don't know mum, he's not willing to respect anyone. Hell all the students are calling him Weasel because he is considered a disgrace to the family..." Then to their amazement a house elf popped into their kitchen. "Young Master should return to Hogwarts. The Great Mistress is distressed, thinking she's caused trouble for her favorite Wheezy. And Great Mistress sends gift." Bill's face colored. "Bill, what is her favorite desert?" Bill grinned. "She shares my cookie bars but loves brownies. Who is the present to?" Molly was astonished, William had never shared his cookie bars not even with Ginny. The small elf pointed at him. "Her favorite Wheezy." Molly realized she might just get her one big happy Weasley family. "What is your name dear?" She said to the elf. "I be Pooka. I assigned to the Missy Hermes but belong to the Great Mistress." Bill's smile widened. "Pooka is Hermione's elf but belongs to Astra's family." Molly smiled. "Will you mind waiting so I can send Bill back with some sweets for Astra?" Pooka nodded.
Pooka handed over the package. Bill unwrapped the first part to find a golden Horus bookmark. Then he opened the second part and tears dripped down his cheeks. "Bill, what's wrong?!" Bill shook his head. "She got it for me. This book is very very rare. It has counter curses and ward breaking spells in it. There are only a few copies in the world. I found one in America and had to put it back because I was on assignment. Oh, a note." He had opened the cover and held by a sticking charm was a small hand written note. Dear William, I know you put it back because of me. So I got it anyway. Its yours Tomb Raider, and please don't tell your mum about the snake... I don't want a howler. Hermes told me! Bill was totally red. His parents read over his shoulder and both chuckled. "Great Mistress will be happy. May Pooka ask for big favor?" Molly nodded. "Great Mistress loves Lady Wheezy's warm sweaters. Will you make one just for the great mistress?" Molly's eyes teared up Arthur rubbed her back. "Do you know her favorite color?" Pooka nodded. "Great Mistress is fond of black. Loves dark colors but one of mistresses favorite colors is the color of her Wheezy's eyes." Molly laughed seeing her son's face light up then color harshly.
"Perfect! Thank you Pooka I'll get to work on it right away." Friday flew by then Saturday morning the Twins were waiting in the entry hall when Astra strode in with a smile. "Hey." They grinned and offered her a red and white rose each. She blushed. "Beautiful! Thank you." Curling the roses in her hair she curled her hands in the crooks of their arms and the three departed. Harry did his best not to laugh until he was sure only his cousin would hear him. "Harry?" It was Hermione and Draco. "The twins. I would be worried about eating tomorrow.." Draco's eyebrow raised. "Oh no. They really asked her out?" Hermione smiled. "I'd be more worried about Bill then the twins." The trio explored Zonko's as well as Honeyduke's. The duo had noticed she picked little sets of sweets for other people. She also bought several small hunks of chocolate and a selection of their finest. When they took her to the three broomsticks the three settled in with their hot butterbeer. "I'm worried about all the dementors what if they attack like they did on the train?" George asked. "I brought Baran with us so we will be safe." They nodded and got down to planning a prank. The twins had noticed Cormac being a dick again to the younger year girls.
They found a first year crying just inside the grounds, on their way back to the castle. "Little badger, what's wrong?" The Hufflepuff looked and saw the Weasley twins and a Slytherin. "McLaggen yanked up my skirt and took my wand. I'm cold and the castle is far away." They cast warming charms on the girl and she giggled as the twins made her laugh. When they returned to the castle Astra hugged the strong red-head waiting by the door. "Will, can you join us so that I don't beat the crap out of the pig?" She hugged both twins for their attitude and the amazing time. "Thank you for taking me out boys I would love to do it again." She kiss one cheek each and led the little girl inside. Bill's eyes narrowed when the story was told on how they found the little badger. They led the first year to Professor Sprout. The head of the Sett was kind until you messed with her cubs. She gave each house thirty points for the help and sent them on their way.
McLaggen found himself pranked in various inventive and mean ways.. The first one stuck him as pig-boy for a week, the spell only changing him back for lessons. But it seemed to reapply itself as soon as he left the classroom. His books screamed he was a pervert when he opened them. Yet the quieted when the professor's shushed them. His bath stuff had technicolor dyes in them so he looks like the rainbow man/Pig boy. Warnings were passed out to the younger years in all four houses. They grouped up even crossing house lines. They heard laughter as Percy Weasley strode into the hall carrying a package. Astra was actually sitting between the twins for her morning tea when he tapped her on the shoulder. "Nya?" She turned to look at him then rose seeing the tears in his blue eyes. "What's wrong Percy?" He hugged her to him surprising a squeak out of her. She purred. "What did I do to deserve a Weasley hug?" She snuggled into him, cuddling his lean form to her. The twins were stunned. "Self-updating Arythmancy compendium." She blushed. "I forgot it was late.. Will told me when your birthday was, then I saw Hogwarts only has the 4th edition.. And the raven's snag them all up near to test times." He sat across from her and they had a wonder breakfast between the four of them, laughing, complaining over homework and and simply relaxing. It made Bill's heart warm, he looked at Charlie to find a huge grin on his face too. Ron was stuck near the first years since no one wanted to sit with him.
The next couple of weeks were easy until Bill wanted a meeting with Astra in the founder's common room. "What is it Will?" She asked after they were settled in with tea. "About Christmas... I wanted to know if you would like to spend it at the burrow." She smiled sweetly. "Are Hermes and Harry invited?" Bill laughed. "My mum would throttle me if I hadn't arranged for them to have invites. But I wanted to invite you personally." She blushed faintly. "I'd go anywhere with you Will. And will you take me shopping for gifts?" He nodded happily. "Since its only a few days until we leave, I have a kind of awkward question?" Bill nodded. "Where is your mum going to put me, Hermes and Harry. Since I have dragons, nundu and such.. It might be best for me to bring one of the coaches or a tent." Bill grinned. "Sounds like a great idea and it will let me and Charlie avoid being harassed by mum." The next three days were pleasant and mostly smooth. Ron was doing his best to avoid getting slugged by Astra again.
People had been stunned when a ton of first years followed Millicent Bulstrode into the great hall. "McLaggen." Was all she said and it saw two heads of house vanish out of the hall. Albus had seen Harry's name on the going home list and tried to figure out how to get him to stay but the boy had been working harder to the point even Severus was slightly nicer. He had tried to get the potion's master to give Harry a detention but the man refused. "Albus, his cousin is his head of house and she will challenge anyone for him." Albus' mind ran circles around him running different scenarios and all of them blew up in his face with Peverell in his way. "Remember this Albus, she has the power to take him to Beauxbatons or Drumstrang." Albus fumed. Down where the fun people were the seven Weasleys and their guests waived their farewells to Professors Flitwick and Sprout. As soon as the group cleared the gates Astra looked at them. "Ready to see my place?" Rapid nods came from the five younger Weasley's. Charlie bent down and they heard her mutter. Harry grabbed Ron and Hermione the twins. "Hurry Percy." She took his hand as she did Bill's and with a cheerful yell they were away. "Fucking hot red-headed Wizards!" They were sucked up into the colors and laughed as they spun round and round then WOMP! they landed. Looking up and seeing the beautiful castle they were agog. POP! Tali appeared. "Great mistress and her Wheezy has returned." Astra grinned. "Yup! Is was carriage ready?" The little elf nodded and the five youngest Weasley's were stunned to see the beautiful horse pulled carriage. "Alright pile in! I am seriously killing for a nap." Astra and Bill were in the driver's seat as the elves loaded the other's trunks into the rack and away they went. Ron sat in a plushy chair and looked at his friend. "This is all hers?" Harry nodded. "Yeah. Astra is just like me, an orphan. She runs my estate as well as her own. The only people who can come and go freely from her estate are Hermione, myself, Charlie and Bill. No one else can. She has some nasty wards and pets." Fred eyed Harry. "Like a crup?" Harry laughed. "Nope like that!" He pointed and they saw the huge nundu the Weasleys froze. Charlie came from another room and saw the nundu. "Hello Toshka." A raspy sound left the huge feline as it walked over and curled up on a large pillow. "Harrrryy!" Ron whined at Harry, who was reminded of the spider incident. "Yes Ron that is a real nundu and it knows Charlie and most of us. But Astra is his mistress. Think of it this way, so long as Astra is at the Burrow. We have a nundu to protect us as well as three dragons."
Smiles lit up the compartment. Charlie smiled right back. "This is also where Harry, Hermione, Astra, Bill and I will be staying for the Holidays." Ginny was the first to speak. "Why?" Hermione smiled. "Astra and Harry have nightmares and I am not very comfortable sharing a room anymore. But remember I too have large familiars." The lions were stretched out on pillows of their own. "Yeah makes sense." A POP. Then Pooka appeared next to Hermione's chair. "Missy Hermes, the great mistress and her Wheezy have said soon to land at the Wheezy home." Cheers went up and they waited eagerly for the carriage to land.
One amazing reader contacted me to alert me to the fact I'd messed up Astra's age.. Astra is Fourteen not thirteen.. Will be seeking out a beta asap. Thanks ~Kyuubi