The Many Faces of Harry Potter 20

“The Many Faces of Har—er, Adira Potter: Chapter 20”
By = Fayanora

Chapter Twenty: The Strange Prophecy

Note 1: Text in 'Italics and British quotes' is Parseltongue.

Note 2: Once more, I apologize for the bits and pieces of canon dialogue/narration here and there. It's been frustrating me, too, but some things are just too perfect already to change. Which, fair warning, includes most of the conversation Fudge, Hagrid, Flitwick, and McGonagall have in The Three Broomsticks.

Note 3: I have different styles for the internal speech of Alastair, Adira, and Zoey, and now #Iliana (bold, italic, underlined, and now between hashtags/pound signs because some people's computers don't do the B.I.U.).#

***FAYANORA***

The first two weeks back from Easter holidays weren't terribly exciting. The collective mostly did homework, studied, and practiced Quidditch in preparation for the coming game with Slytherin. They also got quite a workout avoiding being tripped or hexed by Slytherins as the big match approached, as tensions were running high. They were doing well enough that, as Wood kept reminding them, Iliana would have to wait until the Griffindor team was more than 50 points up before catching the snitch, and as much as she was fond of the older boy, she found his constant nagging irritating.

“We KNOW, Oliver! If you don't stop nagging us about that, you're liable to trigger Al to appear, and that will lose us the game for sure,” she even threatened, which finally shut him up. It was no idle threat, either; Al's irritation had been growing for days.

They didn't sleep well the night of the match, either, and Iliana was very nervous as she went down to breakfast with their Firebolt, hardly eating anything from nerves. The applause helped a little, but not much. And when Cho Chang wished her luck, she blushed so hard she was afraid she'd accidentally retreat at the worst possible time, and had to sit there concentrating on staying in the front for a few minutes before heading down to the pitch.

It was so tense in the locker rooms that nobody spoke until it was time to go, and that was just a brief command from Wood, saying it was time. They went out onto the pitch to tumultuous applause and, of course, boos from the Slytherins.

They got into position, the balls were released, and--

“They're off!”

She flew in the air fast as she could. She was wearing goggles over her eyes, because the Firebolt was so fast that the wind dried her eyes out otherwise, and she was glad to have that protection now, judging by the fact that her hair was causing her actual pain as it whipped her skin. Malfoy, she could see, was trying to keep up, but a Nimbus 2001 had nothing on a Firebolt, and knowing the Slytherins had a tendency to cheat, she didn't want to give Malfoy the opportunity to do something. So she sped around, looking here and there and everywhere for the snitch as she did so. Also keeping an eye on Malfoy, just in case.

She listened to the commentary as well. It was very important that she wait until they were more than 50 points up before she caught the snitch.

Sure enough, the Slytherins were cheating. After Griffindor got their first goal, Marcus Flint deliberately ran into the chaser responsible, Angelina Johnson.

Iliana was finding that their being a multiple was helpful in this case. Unable to concentrate on all the things she needed to do at once, Iliana began delegating tasks to the others. Al kept a wary eye on the Slytherins, and Adira was listening to the commentary and nothing else, which freed Iliana up to look for the snitch. Iliana herself tuned out the commentary and waited for updates from Adira.

Thirty zero Griffindor, Adira informed her.

She didn't respond. She didn't need to.

After a few minutes, she spotted the snitch. Al informed her without words of Malfoy's whereabouts. Getting a sudden idea, she dived in the opposite direction as though she'd spotted the snitch. Sure enough, Malfoy followed her.

WHOOSH.

One of the Slytherins had hit a bludger so it went past her ear.

WHOOSH.

Another one went past her elbow. The two Slytherin chasers were flying right at her. At the last second, she pulled up and zoomed off, and the two idiots crashed into each other with a sickening crunch.

Iliana went back to her business. She was glad to find the snitch was gone again, and Malfoy was still attempting to tail her.

Holy hippogriffs this game is dirty, Adira commented after a few minutes. Even the Griffindors are playing dirty. Forty-ten Griffindor, by the way.

She kept flying, kept looking for the snitch, Al silently updating her on Malfoy's position every now and then.

And Angelina scored. Sixty-ten, came Adira's update. Moments later, Fred Weasley pelted a Bludger at Warrington, knocking the Quaffle out of his hands; Alicia seized it and put it through the Slytherin goal.

Seventy-ten. Now's the time. By the way...

Iliana felt Adira turn their head to get a better look at something. Sure enough, Adira had spotted the snitch, high above them.

Shooting into the air fast as she could, the wind whipped through her hair. But they slowed down briefly despite this. Without her head turning to look, she felt Al grab the body, slide it down the broom, and kick something squishy with one foot, letting them sped up again. She could hear Al laughing in their head as she shot toward the snitch.

But then a bludger hit them, knocking them sideways, and in their panic something weird happened; Iliana's body got smaller, her robes staying the same size. But judging by her voice when she shrieked at the Slytherin beaters in a fury, she wasn't Zoey. The hair whipping around her was still red, and it was a younger version of her voice that she spoke with.

The Slytherins had got their way, though; the snitch was gone. Iliana took a moment to call on Zoey to switch them back, but they were stuck. So Zoey shrank their robes down to fit the smaller body instead.

Flying on the broom was a much more difficult experience this much smaller. She had gotten so used to pushing or pulling in certain spots, pitching her weight around in certain ways to turn it, that the difference in size, weight, and mass was disconcerting to say the least. But on straight-line paths, it was a boon, since weighing less got them able to go faster. But the goggles falling down from her eyes because they were too big for her head now sucked. Specifically, it sucked the moisture out of her eyes and made it harder to see.

Griffindor got a penalty for Malfoy's cheat, but Alicia was so angry that she missed it.

Iliana tried to concentrate on finding the snitch. They went back to their teamwork pattern, Adira listening to the commentary and Al watching the Slytherins. And now, Zoey was working one-handed to try to adjust the strap on the goggles while Iliana looked for the snitch.

Once the goggles were back on, Iliana decided to get Malfoy back by marking him, like he'd done to her earlier. She followed him around everywhere, getting right next to him, so close they kept knocking knees.

“Get out of it, Potter!” Malfoy yelled in frustration as he tried to turn and found Iliana blocking him.

Something is happening, Adira told her a bit later, pointing her head to see.

The whole Slytherin team, sans Malfoy, was flying to block Angelina scoring. Iliana moved away and zoomed straight at them. Even smaller now, they wouldn't want to get hit by someone going as fast as she was, so they scattered, and Angelina was able to score.

Skidding to a halt, she spotted Malfoy diving for the snitch, and hurried to catch up. Being smaller wasn't helping now, as Malfoy's weight was pulling him toward the ground, but he couldn’t be allowed to grab it, so she scooted forward, pulled one foot against the front of the broom, and leaped into the air, grabbing Malfoy around the neck.

“ACK! WHAT THE HELL?” he shouted, trying to fight her off. Adira noted Madam Hooch calling about a penalty to Slytherin, but the snitch had vanished again. Adira also noted that Wood saved it. They were still more than 50 points up.

“Turnabout is fair play, Malfoy,” she said, using his back to jump back to her own broom and take off again. But it was a close call – her broom-tail brushed the ground as she took off. Malfoy was not so lucky, and landed face-first into the grass.

With Madam Hooch running onto the pitch to check Malfoy's vitals, Iliana spotted the snitch again, off by the Griffindor goal posts, and shot after it fast as lightning, snatching it out of the air.

“YES!” She screamed, holding the struggling snitch in her hands as she whooped out a victory cheer. The spectator box exploded with noise when they realized what she'd done.

Iliana flew down to the ground, her teammates flying after her. Wood picked her up and swung her around, sobbing with joy into her shoulder. She felt two large thumps as Fred and George hit them; then Angelina’s, Alicia’s, and Katie’s voices, “We’ve won the Cup! We’ve won the Cup!” Tangled together in a many-armed hug, the Gryffindor team sank, yelling hoarsely, back to earth.

Waves of crimson-clad Griffindor supporters washed over them and carried them to victory. Iliana could even hear Sirius's barks of laughter and shouts of glee over the crowd; he seemed to be near.

She pulled off the goggles again. “We won, Sirius! We won!”

“That you did,” he said, looking at her eyes curiously. She wanted to ask him about it, but she got carried off with the rest of the team, to Griffindor tower.

~

The resulting party lasted a very long time, and was filled with songs, butterbeers the twins had snuck off to Hogsmeade to get, and people talking about the game.

“That was so awesome how you kicked Malfoy in the face when he was grabbing your broom!” Dean Thomas exclaimed.

“Yeah, it was weird,” Ron said. “You were moving down the broom before he'd even grabbed the broom, and you only slowed down for a split second before kicking him.”

“Oh yeah, that was Al. We were working as a team. Adira was listening to the commentary, and Al was keeping track of the Slytherins, especially Malfoy.”

“And the way you tackled Malfoy, then jumped onto your broom from his back in the nick of time, it was bloody brilliant!”

“Thanks, Seamus. I think I almost died, but it was worth it. How's Malfoy, by the way?”

“He'll live,” Ron said, sounding disappointed. “He only got plowed. I've seen much worse happen to quidditch players than that, and they were fine. He might be loopy for a few days, but he'll be fine after that.”

“Iliana,” Hermione said before Iliana could reply, “did you know you have one green eye and one blue eye, like Zoey?”

“Oh, do I? Well that explains what happened; our forms must have accidentally fused. You know, I almost lost my robes when that happened, I would've been up there naked on my broom if we hadn't been able to shrink the robes. As it was, I think our... oh shit! Our underwear is still out there! I...” she paused, feeling inside her robes. “Wait, no. Whew! It's still in there. Just barely. Thank goodness for that.”

Everyone laughed at this. Even Iliana managed to laugh about it.

“Not that you'd have anything worth seeing, with your body like that,” Dean said.

Suddenly the laughter stopped, and people looked uncomfortably at the black boy. But it felt to Iliana like there was something else there, something weirder. Like... oh. That. People were being reminded of her condition, which reminded many of them of what they normally thought of the Potters. How many of them thought she was a freak? There were so many emotions flying around now that it was all washing together for her.

Just then, the twins made confetti from their wands with a bang, and the party resumed as though nothing had happened. Even Iliana managed to forget, and get back into the swing of things.

The last dregs of the party were still going later, by the sound of it, when Iliana finally went to bed, past midnight, and drifted off despite the occasional noise. She would be back to normal when she woke up in the morning.

***

The next few weeks were fairly routine, a mix of schoolwork, studying, revision for the exams, interspersed with occasional talk of the last Quidditch game. On the weekends, Sirius came to visit, and so he, Adira, and Hagrid had tea together in Hagrid's hut. At one of these, they found out that Buckbeak was back to full health, despite Malfoy's hexing, and was well protected in a hidden paddock.

Then, in the second week of June, came the exams. The teachers didn't seem to care which of the Potters took which exam, so long as they took the exam and took it seriously. McGonagall seemed surprised that Zoey hadn't shown up to the transfiguration exam, but of course Zoey's abilities were – for some reason – hindered by their wand. So Adira took it instead. She also took the Ancient Runes exam after lunch, and the Charms exam after that. She overdid the cheering charm out of nerves, and Ron had to be taken away to calm down before his turn.

The next day, they did Care of Magical Creatures. Hagrid tested them on unicorn care and feeding, mostly, but there was also a bit in there about bowtruckles, little tree guardians that looked like twigs, that they'd had in a couple of his classes.

In the afternoon, Iliana showed up to the Potions exam. As often happened, Snape avoided looking at her, and – left to her own devices – she did pretty well. When she handed her finished potion to Snape, he looked at it with a sour look and gave a non-commital grunt, which for him was high praise. She did equally well in Astronomy when she took that exam at midnight.

Binns was still teaching History of Magic the next day, but they'd long since figured out that Tier had the ability to resist the soporific effect of the ghost teacher's droning, so he was very good for taking notes. Despite finding spoken language difficult even inside their shared mind, Tier was surprisingly eloquent when writing. So they showed up in Iliana's form, but Tier was controlling the body as they took the test.

None of them had any particular affinity for herbology, though, so Iliana just took back her body from Tier for that exam in the afternoon.

The day after that came their second-to-last exam, the exam everyone was most excited to have: Defense Against the Dark Arts with Professor Lupin. Professor Lupin had compiled the most unusual exam any of them had ever taken; a sort of obstacle course outside in the sun, where they had to wade across a deep paddling pool containing a grindylow, cross a series of potholes full of Red Caps, squish their way across a patch of marsh while ignoring misleading directions from a hinkypunk, then climb into an old trunk and battle with a new boggart.

“Excellent, Alastair,” Lupin said as they climbed out of the trunk, for they'd woken up that day as Al. “Full marks.”

Flushed with his success, Al hung around to watch Ron and Hermione. Ron did very well until he reached the hinkypunk, which successfully confused him into sinking waist-high into the quagmire. Hermione did everything perfectly until she reached the trunk with the boggart in it. After about a minute inside it, she burst out again, screaming.

“Hermione!” said Lupin, startled. “What’s the matter?”

“P — P — Professor McGonagall!” Hermione gasped, pointing into the trunk. “Sh — she said I’d failed everything!”

It took a little while to calm Hermione down. When at last she had regained a grip on herself, she, Al, and Ron went back to the castle. Ron was still slightly inclined to laugh at Hermione’s boggart, but Al slapped him on the back of the head and glared in a way reminiscent of Mrs. Weasley's best glares, which shut Ron right up.

Al's and Ron's final exam was Divination. Hermione had no more exams, so she went with them up to the seventh floor for moral support, where many of their class were sitting on the spiral staircase to Professor Trelawney’s classroom, trying to cram in a bit of last-minute studying.

“She’s seeing us all separately,” Neville informed them as they went to sit down next to him. He had his copy of Unfogging the Future open on his lap at the pages devoted to crystal gazing. “Have either of you ever seen anything in a crystal ball?” he asked them unhappily.

“No,” said Al. “This class is utterly useless. Trelawney is a fraud; I'd rather learn from someone who is actually a seer. So I'm considering dropping it, like Hermione did.”

The line of people outside the classroom shortened very slowly. As each person climbed back down the silver ladder, the rest of the class hissed, “What did she ask? Was it okay?”

But they all refused to say.

“She says the crystal ball’s told her that if I tell you, I’ll have a horrible accident!” squeaked Neville as he clambered back down the ladder toward Harry and Ron, who had now reached the landing.

“Suspiciously convenient,” Ron said. Al nodded.

The three of them talked, largely ignoring the other students as they finished up. Occasionally Al complained he was bored, and said he was considering turning Trelawney's hair blue.

Then it was Ron's turn. Al waited and waited. When Ron finally came back, he snorted with disgust.

“Rubbish,” said Ron. “Couldn’t see a thing, so I made some stuff up. Don’t think she was convinced, though. …”

“Meet you in the common room,” Harry muttered as Professor Trelawney’s voice called, “Potter!”

“Clearly she couldn't predict which of us it was,” Al said as he climbed up the ladder to the classroom.

The tower room was hotter than ever before; the curtains were closed, the fire was alight, and the usual sickly scent made Al cough as he stumbled through the clutter of chairs and tables to where Professor Trelawney sat waiting for him before a large crystal ball.

“Oh, it's you, is it, dear?” Trelawney said, looking very put out.

“Yeah, it's me. Try to calm down, I won't be giving autographs today,” Al said in a deadpan way.

“Very funny. Sit down now, my dear. Do try to take this seriously. I know you do not think much of me, but you might get something out of this class if you try, despite what you think of me as a teacher.”

“Sure, right,” Al said in a bored voice.

Still, she had a point, so he did sit there, bored, staring into the crystal ball. He felt his gaze unfocus in his boredom as he stared, and then felt his mind unfocus as well. He was just zoned out, staring at the swirling shapes in this crystal ball, his brain disengaged entirely.

Then he began to speak, but it sounded far-off, and his mind was still off in la-la land, so he barely noticed.

“Chalice of wood, flame within,” he said, as though under hypnosis. “A toad will cow you with a grin. Sherry bottles litter the floor, hidden in a secret store. At Christmas time, a formal dance; beware despair, constant vigilance...”

He trailed off, and fell out of his chair, snapping him out of the trance.

“My boy, that wasn't very impressive,” Trelawney said, clicking her tongue. “Nothing you said made any sense, and it was all very dull. A hearth, something about a toad, a dance, and a warning not to trip on a stair? Very disappointing.”

Fully awake now, he glowered at her.

“I suppose you'd be more impressed if I'd said something clearer, like 'On the night of the blue moon, a dragon will eat the headmaster and set the school on fire,' or some rubbish like that? Anyway, whatever. I don't care what I get on this exam, you're useless as a teacher.”

He turned to go, but then a loud, harsh voice behind him spoke.

“It will happen tonight.”

Al wheeled around. Professor Trelawney had gone rigid in her armchair; her eyes were unfocused and her mouth sagging.

“What?”

But Professor Trelawney didn’t seem to hear him. Her eyes started to roll. Al stood there in a panic. She looked as though she was about to have some sort of seizure. He hesitated, thinking of running to the hospital wing — and then Professor Trelawney spoke again, in the same harsh voice, quite unlike her own:

“The Dark Lord lies alone and friendless, abandoned by his followers. His servant has been chained these twelve years. Tonight, before midnight … the servant will break free and set out to rejoin his master. The Dark Lord will rise again with his servant’s aid, greater and more terrible than ever he was. Tonight … before midnight … the servant … will set out … to rejoin … his master.”
Professor Trelawney’s head fell forward onto her chest. She made a grunting sort of noise. Al stood there, staring at her. Then, quite suddenly, Professor Trelawney’s head snapped up again.

“I’m so sorry, dear boy,” she said dreamily, “the heat of the day, you know … I drifted off for a moment.”

Al still stood there, staring at her.

“Is there anything wrong, my dear?”

“You — you just told me that the — the Dark Lord’s going to rise again … that his servant’s going to go back to him.”

Professor Trelawney looked thoroughly startled.

“The Dark Lord? He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named? My dear boy, that’s hardly something to joke about. … Rise again, indeed —”

“But you just said it! You said the Dark Lord —”

“I think you must have dozed off too, dear!” said Professor Trelawney. “I would certainly not presume to predict anything quite as far-fetched as that!”

“But--” Al said.

“Enough of this joking, Mr. Potter,” she said, herding him toward the trapdoor. “First you mock my gifts and my teaching all year long, then you feign a vision mocking my—I mean, mocking me, and then you claim I predicted the Dark Lord's return. Honestly, I don't know what game you're playing, but you must go now.”

“It's not a game! Listen, I'm sorry for all of the mocking, really, but I think you had a real---”

“GO!” Trelawney shouted at him.

Al gave up on it, and scurried down the ladder fast as he could. Had that been a real prediction? He knew his had been real; he still remembered the images a little, but they were fading, like waking from a dream. But had hers been faked to impress him?

No, he decided. Trelawney's had to be real, too. She had been genuinely put out with him when he told her about it. Al struggled to remember both predictions. His was easier, as it rhymed.

He was so distracted, he walked right past Ron and Hermione, who were trying to catch up to him, still trying to get his attention. But he waved them off. They followed him all the way to the Griffindor dorms, and up to the one he slept in, not talking to him since he'd waved them off, but clearly wanting to. He wrote down his own prediction first, then Trelawney's.

“'Chalice of wood, flame within,” Ron read out. “A toad will cow you with a grin. Sherry bottles litter the floor, hidden in a secret store. At Christmas time, a formal dance; beware despair, constant vigilance.' What's this?”

“And this bit here,” Hermione said, “about You-Know-Who rising again?”

“I had a real prediction in the test. I think Trelawney did, too. Hers is the Voldemort one.”

“You had a vision, mate?” Ron asked, looking amazed. “Tell us!”

“Well, it was the test. I was just staring into the crystal ball, too hot to think, and my brain unfocused, and I started speaking and seeing images. This is pretty much all I remember now, the words. Only I don't know what any of it means. A chalice of wood, flames inside of it? Anything like that would catch fire and burn up.”

“Not if it was one of Hermione's waterproof bluebell flames,” Ron reminded him. “She actually scooped those up in her hand once and it didn't hurt her. And Lupin has held magical fire in his hand, too.”

“Ah. Good point. I'd forgotten that. But what would be the point of a flaming cup?”

Ron shrugged. “Dunno. It'd make a more impressive light than a candle, though. Probably safer, too.”

“But what about the other prediction?” Hermione snapped, sounding nervous.

“Oh yeah, after I had my prediction, Trelawney thought it wasn't very impressive. I went off on her a bit, then was about to storm out, when she went all rigid and spoke in this hoarse voice.”

“Of all the people to get swept up by her spooky manner,” Ron began.

“I know she's usually a fraud, Ron, I spotted it at once. But this time was very different. And she was genuinely annoyed with me later, genuinely thinking I was lying. So I think it was a real prediction!”

Ron looked thoughtful for a moment. “Okay, assuming you're right, do you think this means... Pettigrew?”

“Shit. It probably does. Who else could it possibly mean? We have to get to Dumbledore.”

He grabbed the paper, and then paused, and grabbed the two-way mirror as well, but didn't use it right away. He took off downstairs fast as he could, then out the portrait hole and fast-walked in the direction of Dumbledore's office. He'd have run, but he didn't want to be held up by Filch.

The other two huffed and puffed, trying to keep up with Al's larger stride, and when they got to the gargoyle guarding Dumbledore's office, Ron leaned against the wall to catch his breath.

“Listen,” he said to the gargoyle, “I don't know what he's changed his password to, but I figure you have some way of getting messages to Dumbledore, so could you please tell Dumbledore that Alastair Potter and friends urgently need to see him?”

The gargoyle nodded, and looked distant for a few moments, before stepping aside to let them onto the magical spiral escalator. Al was so impatient he took the stairs two at a time, getting to the door and opening it before the others were even halfway up.

“Trelawney just had a real prediction,” Al said, slamming the parchment down on Dumbledore's desk. “The bottom one, about Voldemort.”

Dumbledore didn't question, just read the prediction.

“And you think it was about Peter Pettigrew?”

“Yes. I... wait, you're just accepting my word for this?”

“Sybill may normally be a fraud, but I happen to know she has given at least one other true prophecy before. She would not have gotten the job otherwise. I shall make the necessary calls to find out Pettigrew's status. Please sit down. Ah, you two may sit down as well,” Dumbledore said, summoning chairs for Ron and Hermione as they fell into the room, panting.

They gratefully took the seats, but Al was too wired to sit, so he paced around as Dumbledore vanished into the green Floo flames.

A note of uplifting song came from Fawkes the phoenix, from his perch.

“Hi, Fawkes. Thanks for the song, it helps. But I'm still worried. I don't want Pettigrew escaping.”

Fawkes' next bit of song sounded like the song equivalent of 'Sure, dude, I understand.'

Al kept pacing. Hermione began to fidget in her seat. Ron was getting antsy, as well. Finally, though, after what felt like an hour, the hearth erupted in green flames. Only, Dumbledore's head was the only thing that appeared in the fire, startling Al and Hermione but not Ron.

“I am going to Azkaban with the minister now, I shall come straight here when I am done. Be well, and try to be patient.”

“Okay, okay,” Al said, impatient for Dumbledore to find out about Pettigrew. The headmaster nodded, his head disappearing, and the flames going down to nothing.

To take his mind off his worry somewhat, Al got out the two-way mirror and called Sirius on it. Sirius answered, and Al told Sirius all about it.

“Shit,” Sirius said. “I hope that little rat is still in his cage.”

“Do you think he got out as a rat?”

“Doubt it. I got out because the Ministry didn't know I was an animagus. But they know Pettigrew is one. He's on the registry now, along with me. They have ways of containing animagi. Along with the dementors, Azkaban has other security. Anti-apparition wards. Then too, you can't Floo right to the prison, you have to take a ferry boat. The ferryman is a dementor. And the island has human guards as well.”

“Oh?”

“Yes. They're mostly there to keep an eye on the dementors, make sure they don't Kiss anyone without permission. They have short shifts, though; only 4 hours at a time, the place is so bad. And of course, they can't have very many patronuses around without upsetting the dementors and rendering them useless anyway. I think there's a breakroom they go to, to bolster themselves. Anyway, I escaped during one of the many changing of the guards. Then I swam to shore as a dog. But they'll have a spell on Pettigrew to keep him from transforming.

'And then he'll be in a cage a rat can't escape from anyway. No windows in his cell, his food slot too high up to climb as a rat, and designed to only open when food is pushed through. Even if he could get up there, he'd have to squeeze through an opening filled with a food tray, while a dementor was on the other side watching to make sure he didn't get through there.”

“Good,” Al said, a little relieved but still worried.

“Anyway, as much as I despise the little traitor, I checked up on him a week ago. He hasn't been eating, according to the guards. And given he was losing weight while waiting for me to show up to kill him, I don't think he's going to last the summer.”

“You think he's dying?” Al said.

“Yes. It hasn't gotten to the point where the dementors are getting excited, yet. But I don't think it'll be long. I'll be surprised if he makes it to July.”

“Dementors get excited when someone's dying?”

“Yeah. Foul dark creatures they are. I'm with Dumbledore, we don't need them guarding our prison. But let's talk of something else, there's no use dwelling on it while we wait for Dumbledore. How about this prediction of yours, eh? You're a seer?”

“I guess,” Al said. “It's not a very clear vision, and I don't remember the images anymore, like forgetting a dream.”

“Read me the prediction.”

Al did so, reading from the paper.

“A wooden chalice with fire in it? For some reason, that sounds familiar. But I can't place it. Leave it for later. A toad will cow you? Does that mean you, Al? Or Trelawney.”

“I vaguely remember I was addressing Trelawney at the time. That bit and the sherry bottles was aimed at her. Then it switched back to me. It was addressing me for the wooden chalice part, as well.”

“So she's going to be afraid of a toad? I wonder what significance that could possibly have?”

“You got me. Neville brings Trevor in there all the time, and she's never shown any fear of it.”

“Hmm... Well, the sherry bottles is plain, at least. Sounds like she's an alcoholic, or will become one.”

“Mr. Black?” Hermione said.

“Please, call me Sirius. Mr. Black was my father.”

“Sirius, then. Do you think those two things are connected? That being scared of that toad will drive her to drink?”

“Possibly. Still, seems an odd thing to go to drink for. Especially if she's not afraid of Neville’s toad.”

There was silence, then, as they all thought about it for a bit.

“Anyway,” Sirius finally said, breaking the silence, “let's move on. A formal dance at Christmas? I wonder why that would be?”

“Maybe we should buy some formal robes, just in case?”

“Wouldn't hurt to have some around. But formal dances at Christmas time, that's a pureblood tradition. One of the least onerous parts of being a pureblood, in my opinion. Still, I can't imagine going to one. And I can't see why you would be going to one.”

“Yeah, and that bit was connected to the next bit,” Al said. “'Beware despair, constant vigilance.'”

“Well that second part's fairly obvious, if odd.”

“It is?”

“To me, anyway. Those last two words are familiar. I was training to be an auror before your parents died. My mentor was Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody. Old Mad-Eye is infamous for shouting 'Constant vigilance!' all the time. I wonder what that has to do with despair, though? Why warn you to beware despair anyway?”

“I dunno. The whole thing is a mess of mixed up visions. Not sure what a dance has to do with any of it, either. And yeah, the despair thing is weird. And why connect that to Moody? And is that connected to the dance, or is that different?”

“Dunno, pup. But it does sound like advice Moody might give, in the right context.” Sirius said.

“Hmm... So we've got some parts that make no sense because we can't work out what they're referring to, or why they're important,” Al said, frowning. “I think I need to get tutoring from someone who actually knows a thing or two about divination. I just wish I knew how to find someone like that.”

“You could always put an ad in the paper.”

“If I did, I wouldn't give my name in the ad, though. Any of the Potters connected to that ad, it'd be bad for me. At the very least, we'd be inundated by more frauds. But how would I get owls, without my name being given?”

“You can have owls sent to a fake name. There are spells for that sort of thing. After all, how do you think owls find people to begin with? They can't know everybody. I don't know the details, but the Gringotts goblins will.”

“So I just have to think of a realistic sounding fake name, then.”

“Yes. When I left my parents' house, I had to have mail to my name blocked, because mother kept sending howlers, just so I would know how displeased with me she was. I had people start sending me mail by addressing it to Daniel Finnes instead. It's not working anymore, of course, as it's been years, but---”

The hearth roared with green flames, cutting off Sirius's voice from the mirror, and Dumbledore stepped out.

“Yes?” Al asked him anxiously.

“Most curious. Pettigrew is still in his cell. He doesn't appear to be eating at all, and was non-responsive when I spoke to him. He just lay there in the corner, breathing, and occasionally rocking back and forth while holding his knees. He's skin and bones, now. And the dementors...” Dumbledore paused, looking grim and angry.

“...yes?” Al prompted.

“The dementors are getting excited,” Dumbledore said with disgust.

“That means he's dying, then,” came Sirius's voice.

“Sirius? Is that you, my boy?”

“Yes, it's me.”

“Good. To answer your question, yes. Pettigrew is not long for this world.”

There was a sort of shuddering sound from the mirror. Al looked down at it, and Sirius's face looked odd.

“As much as I hate the little rat for betraying us, I'm still losing another friend. I lost him years ago, in one sense. But now I'm losing him in a much more final sense.”

“I thought you wanted him dead?” Al asked.

“When I was the only one who knew he was a danger to you, yes, I wanted to kill him to end the threat. I was also a bit deranged from Azkaban, on the run, getting most of my energy from the obsession of stopping him. But you found him out, he's in prison now, and I'm free. I've had time to recover physically, and emotionally a bit as well. And it's not like I can really control my emotions. Emotions are weird, pup.”

“I think I understand, Sirius,” Al said. “But this is confusing. I still have this gut feeling that the prophecy Trelawney gave is a real one, but it seems like Pettigrew is dying. He can't rejoin his master if he's dead, so I don't understand. Who else could it possibly refer to?”

“A good question, my boy. I wondered the same thing, when I saw Pettigrew's condition. So I had Fudge increase security on the whole prison, in case it meant someone else was escaping. There are many still-loyal followers of Voldemort within those walls.”

“Good. I mean, about the increased security. Well, the other thing, too. Let's hope they stay there.”

“If it will ease your mind, Alastair, I should like you to do something for me.” Dumbledore went over to a cabinet and opened it. Whatever was inside was glowing. He pulled out a... basin. And set it on the desk in front of Al.

Al looked at it. The stone basin was shallow, and covered in runes. Inside the basin was something like gas made into liquid, or liquid that was almost a gas.

“What is that?”

“It is a pensieve. It allows one to put their memories into the basin and watch them from an outside perspective, as well as bringing others into your memories.”

Al frowned. “Like Riddle's diary?”

“Yes, something like that. But the pensieve is not alive, like the diary was.”

“This could be useful for other things, too. You could give testimony with something like this, show the memories to the wizengamot. They'd have to do it one or two at a time, though.”

“Indeed that is true. But for now, I would like you to share your memory of the Divination exam with me.”

“How?”

“Take out your wand, put it to your temple like so, concentrate on the memory, and the incantation is 'memoro.'”

Al did as instructed. It took several tries to get it right, but finally a slender thread of gossamer thought clung to his wand like glowing spider silk, and he deposited it in the pensieve.

“Good, Alastair. Now, if you would come into the pensieve with me, please?”

Al nodded. Soon, they were both leaning their faces into the pensieve. Al felt the substance in the basin touch his nose before he pitched forward through darkness, floating into Trelawney's boiling hot classroom. Together, they watched the whole thing, from Al climbing into the room, to the two prophecies, to him scurrying out again. When the memory-Al left the room, Dumbledore pulled him out, and they were in the headmaster's office again.

“Don't worry, we're back.”

“You never left. You both just stood there with your noses touching the stuff in the basin.”

“Well our minds went into my memory. And I have to say, I don't feel like I know any more than I already did.”

“Perhaps not, my boy, but I can now confirm that Trelawney's prophecy was genuine. And yours, too, sounded genuine, but I cannot be sure. Every seer is different, and not all prophecies come true anyway. In fact, most do not.”

“They don't?”

“Yes. A prophecy being genuine does not mean it will come true. Divination shows us possible futures. But since we cannot know which possible futures will come true, the number of prophecies that do not come to pass is great. The Ministry has a department that collects prophecies, among other things, and the number of prophecies that have not come to pass – or never did and now never will – is very high.”

Al felt something from Hermione, who was oddly quiet for some reason. But at his look, she spoke.

“There are real prophecies? And the Ministry collects them?”

“Yes, Miss Granger, there are indeed real prophecies.”

Hermione goggled. “I never believed in divination, especially after Professor McGonagall said it was an imprecise branch of magic.”

“And she was correct, my dear. It is indeed imprecise. But so many things in life are, are they not?”

“I guess so.”

Al turned to Dumbledore. “You said Trelawney gave one other true prophecy. What was that one? May I see it, for comparison?”

Dumbledore's twinkling eyes dimmed a little at this.

“I... I would rather not, at this time. There may come a time, in the future, when I may. But not now.”

“Ah,” Al said, putting some things together in his head. “I see. So it's about us, then? Let me guess, something about 'the chorus that sings a song against evil'?”

Dumbledore looked uneasy. He seemed to be weighing things in his mind. This went on for fully two whole minutes before Dumbledore sighed.

“I did not wish to tell you this so soon. You are so young, it is such a burden. But you've already know the gist of it, and you keep bringing it up. Plainly, you are ready.”

“Go on,” Al prompted.

“Not just yet, my boy. Mr. Weasley, Ms. Granger, I wish to tell him in private.”

“I'm just going to tell them later, though.”

“Yes, but what I have to say is very grave, and I do not wish to try to explain things with three different people arguing and asking questions. One will be difficult enough. Besides which, you may wish to tell them in your own way.”

“Oh, fine then.”

Ron and Hermione looked disappointed, but left.

“And I shall know if you are listening at the door, so please go all the way out, maybe into the Great Hall?”

They muttered their understanding and left.

After a couple minutes, Dumbledore smiled in a slightly forced way. “Alright, then. Where to begin? Ah, yes. You asked, before, why Voldemort tried to kill you as a baby, which is relevant now. He tried to kill you, you see, because of a prophecy given before your birth, by Sybill Trelawney.”

The headmaster sat down behind his desk to rest. “She was there to interview for the position of Divination teacher, of course. I was rather disinclined to continue the subject, to be honest, given the rarity of true seers, but as she was related to the great seer Cassandra Trelawney, I figured it common courtesy. We met in a pub in Hogsmeade called the Hog's Head – not an ideal place for such meetings, being as it is rather shady, but it was where she was staying at the time. Initially she did not appear to have the gift. I was about to dismiss her when her manner changed, in the same way she did today, and gave a prophecy.”

Dumbledore pulled a memory away from his head with his wand, dropped it in the pensieve, and prodded the contents. The contents surged upward and formed the image of the divination teacher looking like she was having a fit. And when Sibyll Trelawney spoke, it was not in her usual ethereal, mystic voice, but in the harsh, hoarse tones Alastair had heard her use once before.

“The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches. … Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies … and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not … and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives. … The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies.”

There was complete silence, as he sat there, agog at this revelation. Then his face changed to one of concentration and thought.

“One?” Al said. “Not a 'chorus singing a song against evil'?”

“Yes, curious that. I was rather surprised when you mentioned Firenze telling you that. I had never heard its like before. But then, the centaurs are constantly working at divining the future, so they must have gotten more information since this prophecy was made, getting an update as it were. Or perhaps whatever force causes such prophecies to be made thought plural language would be confusing to Voldemort.”

“Okay,” Al said.

What did that mean, though? The prophecy?

“What does that one bit mean? The bit about 'neither can live while the other survives'?”

“It meant,” said Dumbledore, “that the person who has the only chance of conquering Lord Voldemort for good was born at the end of July, nearly fourteen years ago. This boy would be born to parents who had already defied Voldemort three times.”

Al nodded. “Okay, this prophecy is interesting and all, but it still doesn't explain why Voldemort tried to kill us.”

“Ah, but it does. You see, one of Voldemort’s Death Eaters overheard part of the prophecy. He was interrupted and thrown out of the pub before he could hear all of it, though. He relayed what he heard to his master, who acted upon the incomplete information. No doubt he thought it was complete. Acting on an incomplete prophecy, Voldemort did not know that to try to kill you would mean marking you as his equal, thus fulfilling the terms of the prophecy.”

“What does that mean, 'mark him as his equal'?”

“As to that, Alastair, it is complicated. It meant that at the time of the prophecy, there were two boys it could have meant – either you or Neville Longbottom – and---”

“So it isn't us?” Al interrupted.

“I'm afraid it is. You see, the final identifying part of the prophecy is that Voldemort would mark him as his equal. Whichever infant he chose would be the one he viewed as a threat, and to Voldemort's mind, only an equal could possibly be a threat.

“He could have chosen Neville, who is a pureblood and therefore more worthy in the ideology that Voldemort professes to follow, but instead he chose the half-blood, like himself. The fact you had black hair possibly helped his decision, too. But either way, he saw himself in you, and so he tried to kill you, which gave you the scar, and also sealed the prophecy to mean you.”

There was silence again, as the collective digested this.

“Well,” Al finally said, “this explains why I've run into him twice now in three years. We're in the same prophecy together. Still... I don't know if I like this whole prophecy thing. I like to think I have free will, I don't want to be Destiny's hand puppet.”

“The existence of prophecies does not mean there is no free will. There are a great many real prophecies made that have never come to pass, many of them will never come to pass now. In fact, if Voldemort had not taken the prophecy seriously, it would not have happened. Because he believed it, however, he made it true.”

“So it's a self-fulfilling prophecy, then?”

“Correct. So do not blame fate, or Sybill, or the prophecy. Blame Voldemort. For even without the prophecy, if he had killed your parents anyway – seeing as they were frequent thorns in his side – you would still have wanted revenge, correct?”

“Well, as long as the possibility of his coming back to full life and power remains open, then yes, we want to stop him. So many people died in the last war. If he came back, many more would die. Right now he's powerless. If we can find out how he's still alive, and reverse it somehow, we could kill him before he has a chance to kill anyone else. I think even Iliana would be fine with that, since he's such an evil monster.”

“Indeed. So we see, Alastair, that the prophecy may have merely given you the tools to defeat him. Beyond the burning need for revenge, you also have the scar to warn you when he is near. And you have parseltongue, which has never been seen in a Potter before, to my knowledge. This is because, as I mentioned in your first year, Voldemort accidentally transferred some of his powers to you when he failed to kill you.”

“So, Dumbledore,” said an unexpected voice from Dumbledore's desk, startling them both. Al recognized it as Sirius's voice. “do you have any shrewd ideas about what's keeping Voldemort from dying all the way?”

Al picked up the two-way mirror and looked into it.

“Damn, I forgot you were still there. You startled us.”

“As to your inquiry, Sirius, I do have some theories. I had something of an inkling years ago, but it was confirmed when Alastair and company found and destroyed Riddle's diary.”

“Oh? That has something to do with it?” Al asked.

“Yes. But before I say more, I want your word, Sirius, and the word of the Potter collective, to keep this information to yourselves. You may tell Ron and Hermione if you wish, but nobody else should know.”

“Not even Moony?” asked Sirius.

“I will consider allowing him as well. But for now, we shall keep him out of it.”

“Understood,” said Sirius. “You have my word, I will not tell anyone else.”

Dumbledore looked into the mirror as Sirius said this, and must have sensed truthfulness, as he nodded.

“And you, Alastair? Will you and the others keep this information from anyone other than Ron and Hermione?”

“We promise. We swear on our magic to tell nobody but Ron and Hermione, unless you give us permission.”

“Good. Now, going on...” Dumbledore cleared his throat, and continued gravely. “You were right about the diary draining Ginny's life force in order to give itself new life. I believe the diary was a magical construct named a horcrux.”

“Horcrux? What's that?”

“It is a very powerful and very evil bit of dark magic, wherein one encases a piece of their soul in order to remain earthbound when their body is destroyed. It is something like immortality.”

“Encase a piece of your soul? How is that dark magic?”

“Because in order to tear your soul, you must commit premeditated murder. Murder tears the soul apart. A horcrux takes advantage of this damage. There is more to the horcrux process, parts of it that make even premeditated murder pale in comparison.” Dumbledore actually shuddered at this.

“And he made one of those?”

“At least one. But I have recent information that indicates Voldemort is still haunting Romania, so apparently he had at least two. Though given how much his appearance had changed when I met him again before the start of the last war, I would wager he made more than two. More, even, than three of them. How many he made, I do not yet know.”

“So he murdered at least three people for immortality alone, and murdered or was the ultimate cause of many more people dying?” Al frowned. “He does indeed need being put out of our misery.”

“It seems to me, then, Dumbledore,” Sirius said from the mirror, “that we need to work out precisely how many of those horrible things he has, and then find them and destroy them.”

“Indeed. It will not be easy, though. He has always been very secretive. But I know him well, or at least, much better than most, seeing as I have known him since he was 11, and was his teacher for 7 years. He loves glory, and has a fondness for history. And he is very arrogant. Also, he considers Hogwarts to be his home. He will, I think, be attracted to items connected to the four founders of the school. There have been rumors. And I have been collecting information about Voldemort for many years already. I will start looking over the summer.”

“Right,” Al said. “In the meantime, let's make sure Pettigrew never escapes. That prophecy has me worried. Can you go check on him again?”

Dumbledore smiled. “I think you meant to ask me if I would watch him tonight, keep guard over him? Which is what I will do. As much as I dislike the dementors, I will gladly endure them for a night to see that this prophecy does not come true.”

“Good. Thank you. That helps, knowing that. But I don't know if I'll be able to sleep tonight.”

“Well at least all of your exams are done, my boy.”

“Yes, that helps too.”

*

Al didn't tell his friends what Dumbledore had told him, not yet. He wanted to take some time to go through it with the others first before he did, and this is exactly what they did. They indeed could not sleep, so instead they had an internal discussion about it for hours.

They didn't remember going to bed or falling asleep, but found themselves in bed the next morning anyway, still fully clothed. It was lucky they were still in Al's form, and not Adira's, or they might've lost or broken her glasses.

It was a Saturday, and after a groggy breakfast, during which they switched to Adira without meaning to, Ron and Hermione joined them in going down to Hagrid's hut for some tea. Adira briefly contemplated telling them all what Dumbledore had said, or an abridged version, but had a sudden image of a crying Hagrid throwing himself onto her shoulders, and decided against it.

Instead, they discussed Al's prophecy, the one he'd made during the exam.

“Oh, so yer a seer, Al? Never thought anyone would ever get anythin' outta her classes, but I guess yeh proved me wrong on that, eh?”

“Yes,” Adira said, smiling. “Nobody was more surprised about it than Al was.”

“Hey now, let's see if yeh can do it, too, shall we? I don't got a crystal ball, but this candle flame might do er?” Hagrid said, putting a lit candle down in front of Adira.

“Oh, alright, I'll try it,” she said.

She stared at the flame, trying to unfocus her eyes and her brain the way Al had done the other day, but found it difficult, with Zoey singing country-western songs in the back of her mind. Even when she managed to get Zoey to be quiet, however, it just wouldn't happen.

“Maybe it's not warm enough in here?” she thought aloud. “Trelawney's room was boiling hot, with the windows closed and the fire going.”

A few minutes later, and Hagrid's hut was warm enough you'd think he'd found another dragon egg. But try as she might, she just couldn't get her brain to unfocus as it had before. Instead, she ended up stepping out of the hut for some cooler air.

“Ah well,” Hagrid said, shrugging, when she came back in. “Yeh'll figger it out, I've no doubt about it. Might take yeh a while, but yeh'll do it again.”

Adira sighed. “Maybe only Al can do it. Or maybe it's like Trelawney's gift, and has a mind of its own.”

“Well at least you've got Al's first one to try to work out the meaning of,” Hermione said.

“Yeah, there is that.”

“Oh, Adira, did you check with Dumbledore about Pettigrew?” Hermione asked her.

“Yeah, this morning. He was up all night. Pettigrew is still there. Maybe we averted that one?”

“Here's hoping,” Ron said, crossing his fingers.

*

They tried it again every few hours for the rest of the weekend, as well as in spare moments after classes the next week. But try as they might, nothing happened.

It might've been that they were still thinking about what Dumbledore had said. They'd been finding it hard not to think about that, though unlike their normal internal conversations, these thoughts were wordless and passed between one another much faster than usual, so they could have entire wordless conversations in a third of the time as usual. The only downside to this form of communication was that it didn't appear to accomplish anything. It seemed only words could leverage useful changes out of the conversation. Which meant that Tier couldn't really participate. Sure, he could speak, but it was difficult for him.

Perhaps picking up on the frustration this caused, Tier started practicing speaking internally. These words came haltingly, and sounded rough and gravelly even in their head. Whatever it was about Tier that made language difficult for him, it wasn't just the body limiting him, it was something in his mind. Still, by the time exam grades got back to them, it was getting noticeably easier for Tier to speak, inside their mind anyway.

Since it was the last day of term, Adira brought Ron and Hermione into her room and told them, at last, what Dumbledore had said, about the prophecy, about the horcruxes, about Sirius having overheard it, all of it. Their reactions were about what she expected, which made her glad Dumbledore had insisted they not be included in the conversation. There were so many outbursts and questions, she had to insist they take turns speaking, raising their hands like they were in class. But finally, she got the whole thing out, and wearily half-listened as the two of them discussed it for hours and hours.

But finally, it was time to leave for the feast. They went down with the rest of the Griffindors to the Great Hall, and on their way there they spotted Sirius.

“Sirius!” Adira shouted, running to hug him. “What're you doing here?”

“I came to help Moony move his things to his new office, since he quit the Defense position last Friday and is going to be the new History teacher.”

“Yeah, he'll be great. I'm glad Dumbledore offered that to him, I like Lupin.”

Ron snorted. “Of course he'll be great at it. But a potted plant could be better than Binns, so even if he's horrible at it, he'll still be an improvement.”

“I hear Snape wasn't too thrilled about it,” Sirius said.

“That's putting it lightly,” Adira said.

Ron sighed. “I just wish he could be Defense teacher, though. But I guess the position is cursed, so better safe than sorry. Wonder what they'll give us next year?”

“That's a good question,” Sirius said. “Wish I knew. Not a lot of people available for the position.”

“Hey Sirius, you should apply for the job!” Adira suggested.

“Me? Defense teacher? Adira, are you trying to get me killed?” Sirius said in mock outrage.

“Er... good point. Better not. Forget I said anything.”

Sirius elbowed her playfully. “Nah, no worries. I'd rather not, and I can't imagine what the parents would say if I got the job, even though they ought to know I'm innocent, but I'll apply if Dumbledore can't find anyone else. I used to be in the Order of the Phoenix – Dumbledore's anti-Voldemort group from the first war – so I know a thing or two about Defense. Also, I was one of the top people in my class in Defense. I think only James and Snape got higher grades than me.”

At Adira's worried face, he said, “Don't worry. If I take the job, I'll do like Moony did and quit early, just in case.”

“Well, okay,” she said, somewhat placated.

“Oh, by the way,” Sirius said, pulling Ron gently along to a nearby alcove, “I got you something, since it's sort of my fault you don't have a rat anymore. I had another one I was going to give you, but I grew too attached to the feathery little tennis ball, so I got you this one instead.”

Sirius pulled from an alcove a cage with an owl in it.

“Long-eared owl, as you can tell by the feathery tufts,” Sirius said.

“WOW!” Ron said, taking the cage and staring in amazement at the owl. “Thanks, Sirius!”

As Ron got to know his new owl, Adira asked Sirius if he'd named the little scops owl yet.

“Nah. Nothing's come to me yet. A few names I've tried on him, he didn't take to. But I'll think of something.”

*

After the feast, they boarded the train and took off to London. Adira, Ron, and Hermione got a compartment with Neville and Luna again, where she told them about Al's prophecy. They spent a very enjoyable afternoon discussing what it could mean.

It was difficult, leaving his friends at the train station, but made easier by meeting Sirius there. She could've gone with him on his motorbike straight from Hogwarts, but she'd wanted more time with her friends before saying goodbye, and Sirius understood. He greeted her with a wide grin and handed her a helmet.

“Safety first,” Sirius said. “Plus, it's cool looking. I got you one with flames, too, since I'm not sure what else you'd have liked.”

She looked at the helmet. It was black with red and orange flames on each side. Then she looked down at the Muggle dress she was wearing.

“Um, not exactly motorbike riding clothes I have on.”

“No problem,” Sirius said, handing her a bundle of something. “I got you some bike leathers. I still had your measurements from our previous shopping trip, so they should fit. And if not, we have magic. Over here, there's a public loo over on this part of the platform, not many know about it. You can pop into the women's one and get changed there.”

Handing the helmet back to Sirius, she went in and got changed. The bike leathers did indeed need a slight adjustment, which Sirius took care of with his wand. When they were done, they left the platform with Adira's stuff, heading for one of the nearby car parks, and when they got there, Sirius put the trunk and Hedwig and her cage into the sidecar.

“Alright, then,” Adira said, putting on the helmet.

Sirius put on his helmet and got on; she got on behind him, holding his middle tight.

“Good, you figured that out on your own. Don't worry too much, though. There are charms on the bike keeping us on it. As well as charms to keep it upright, charms to keep us from being hit by cars, and many more.”

The visor on Adira's helmet was already down, so she just nodded. Sirius nodded, flipped his own visor down, started the bike with a loud growl that attracted the attention of a few nearby Muggles, and soon they went roaring down the road, Adira laughing with excitement all the way to the pizza parlor.

**END CHAPTER**

End note: Yes, in canon, Trelawney's second prediction was about Peter, but it's not about Peter in this one. You'll probably have guessed some of it, but hopefully I can surprise you a little. :)



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