Chapter 20- What I Have Become

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CHAPTER TWENTY: WHAT I HAVE BECOME

It had been two weeks since I had left the Weasleys, it was painful leaving George. Well, it was sad leaving all of them because I had my doubts if I would even be returning to Hogwarts for several reasons. 

1) My mother just happened to be Bellatrix LeStrange

2) I was in the process of becoming an unregistered, under-aged animagus

3) I was a Death Eater. 

Yes, my being a Death Eater was forced, but it happened, it is what I have become.  I was dying on the inside, my whole life was disintegrating right before my eyes, slipping like coins through my fingers and there was nothing I could do to stop it. Summer was running out with only a week left and I would be spending it with Lupin. By the end of the week I wouldn't be a werewolf anymore I would be an animagus. I had figured out that if you made the switch from a werewolf to an animagus within ten years of being bitten you could reverse the effects of a werewolf bite. Of course, it was too late for Lupin.  By the end of the week I would be a full-fledged animagus. Lupin registered me for school And I was currently in the spare room (Which had become my room) and I was packing and going over the things I needed and counting what little money I had. 

"40 Galleons." I sighed. I dropped the coins back into my purse and plopped it into my suitcase. Lupin walked in and stood in the doorway. I pulled my sleeve down.

"Are you okay?" He asked. "I know this summer has been hard on you." He said. I had told him everything that happened to me over the summer, even with the Malfoys and Bellatrix.

"Yeah. yeah, I just don't have enough money to pay for the school supply list." I sighed. He smiled.

"I can take you to Diagon Alley, I'll pay for anything you need." He smiled.  My eyes widened.

"You don't hav-"

"Nonsense, I'm afraid you don't have a choice in the matter."  Gratefully, I hugged him, he was almost like the father I never had, and never would have.

"Thank you." I said quietly as I stepped back. He smiled again.

"We better get going before everything is gone." he said. I nodded in agreement as he took my hand and we apparated. I felt an uncomfortable twisting, then found myself standing in Diagon Alley. It had been so long since I had been here.  I looked around and took it all in for a moment.  I turned back and held up the school supplies list. 

"Books first?" I asked and gestured to Florish and Blotts.

"Do you know what books you need?" 

"Yup!" I waved the list around again and ran into the store. I piled up the books I needed and we payed and went to the next few stores. Once we were finally back at the house I dropped all my stuff onto the bed. 

"Thank you!" I said for the millionth time that day, and he smiled, ruffling my hair.

"Only a week left." He reminded me. 

"Yeah." I sighed. He glanced over at the clock.

"Dinner in an hour." He said and disappeared from the doorway.  Laughing, I began to sort through all my school supplies and then packed it away into my Howgwarts trunk. Then I caught sight of a small phial on my bedside table.  It lay there with an orange potion inside it. It was the last potion I had to take.  Picking up the phial, plucked out the cork.  It smelled like oranges and cinnamon.  I took a sip and cringed.  It certainly did not taste like oranges or cinnamon. I drank the rest and put the cork back into the phial. 

"Ugh." I shuddered, face contorting with disgust.  In a week I would finally be able to shift into my animagus form.  I looked at the clock. 6:00 PM.  I skipped down the stairs and into the kitchen. I sat at the table and Lupin slid a plate in front of me.

"Bangers and Mash!" I exclaimed. "My favorite.  Very original."

"UK Classic." He agreed and sat across from me. "All packed?"

"Yeah, I'm all ready for next Monday." I smiled. "I'm excited, it'll be nice to get back to Hogwarts."

"You'll have to write me and tell me about the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher!"

"You'll have a full report every week." I promised, shoveling a fork-full of mash into my mouth.

"Good." he paused, mouth twitching into a feeble smile.  "Iris?"

"Hmm?"

"I'm going out later tonight, do you think you'll be alright by yourself for a while?" He asked. I wiped my mouth with the back of my hand.

"I think I can manage without setting fire to anything for a night." 

"Great!"  He shook his head with a laugh.  Lupin left after dinner leaving me alone in the house.  It had lots of big windows and was fairly secluded, it was off in the forest... for obvious reasons.  I grabbed a tennis ball off of my bedside table and shoved my wand into my boot.  I threw the ball against the wall and it came back to me, always to my hand, it was enchanted, and it always stopped right before it hit something.  Now, before you go off and make some clever joke about the wolf playing with a tennis ball, just remember that I have nothing better to do with my time.  I continued to toss it around, lost in thought as the whole room grew dim with the oncoming dusk.

In just a week I would be back at Hogwarts and I wouldn't have to think about Bellatrix, or the Malfoys, or my Dark Mark.  I could just be with George and my friends, and all I would have to think about would be school work.  Letting out a long exhale, it was a relief just to think about.

~

I lay in my bed, staring up at the ceiling, it was enchanted to look like the night sky.  I watch the stars blaze above me while three different moons shone down on me. I was laying on top of my covers with my arms tucked behind my head. Sherlock perched on my headboard, cawing softly whenever he saw a shooting star blaze across the sky.

I sighed, my mind was crawling with thoughts of my summer.  The tightness in my chest returned when I returned to thinking about the fact that the Malfoys had been lying to me my entire life. But despite that, I missed Draco, it wasn't his fault, I doubt he even knew.  If they hadn't told me I wouldn't have been able to stay with the Weasleys (George specifically) and I wouldn't have been able to acquire Lupin's help.  My whole life had been unreasonably mundane up until now, and for the next week I had more than enough time to replay it all in my head.  I sighed and pressed my head deeper into the fluffy pillow, awaiting the sleep that I was sure would never make an appearance.

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