Stay Away From Me ~ Blaise Zabini ~ Part 16

Alrighty. Now, in this part, I'm not sure whether or not the Weasleys are at Grimmauld Place all summer or not... Hm...

So enjoy, and happy (belated) Veteran's Day!

Also, happy (again, belated) birthday, Marines! :)

Chapter 1

Number 12, Grimmauld Place

Sunday brought with it a tremendous rain that actually flooded parts of the Waters Estate. I hoped, not for the first time, that the Weasleys would be arriving by Floo Powder - and not broomsticks, as Ron had planned - while I looked out the window.

"Miss Belle?" a voice squeaked.

"Oh, Amalie." I said, turning to the elf. "I was planning on doing this myself, but I don't think I'll be able to in this rain..." I cast another glance out the window, then went over to my desk and picked up a piece of parchment, reading it over before putting in an envelope:

Blaise,
I'll be staying with the Weasleys for the remainder of the summer, leaving today. Stay safe.
Love you,
- Belle

"As soon as the rain lets up, could you have Ava deliver this, please? To Blaise Zabini."

Ava was our family owl, who spent most of her time in the attic.

"Of course, Miss Belle." Amalie bowed.

"Thank you." I said as she left the room. I walked over to my trunk, making sure I had everything I would need for summer. Satisfied, I closed the trunk and began dragging it toward the door. As if on cue, talking erupted from the living room.

"Arthur, how good to see you!" my father's voice echoed from the sitting room, where the fireplace was located. Mr. Weasley responded, then another voice said:

"Where's Belle, then?" Fred. Wait, George? No, definitely Fred.

"Just up the stairs and to the left." my mother answered.

"We'll go help her with her things." George, for sure this time. Footsteps rushed up the stairs as I began to drag my trunk to the door once more, which burst open to reveal two beaming, identical faces.

"Hey, guys." I said, giving up on trying to carry the trunk. "Since when have you been so willing to help?"

They both smiled mischievously, eyes glinting.

"Well," started George.

"We've been experimenting, and needed to test something out," Fred continued.

"And seeing as your staircase is the perfect testing height," said George.

They exchanged a look, then said together: "We've got something to show you."

Without another word, the twins turned on their heels and left the room, motioning for me to follow. Stepping onto the landing of the stairs, they leaned over the railing and looked to someone below.

"Ready, Ron?" Fred called.

I looked over the railing, spotting the red hair of another Weasley. Ron looked up at us and nodded. George threw something down - it looked like a piece of string - and Ron caught the end. Fred and George held the other end to their ears. There was something odd about the string... it was a fleshy-pink color, and I could hear Ron's voice coming out of it, as though he were standing right next to us.

The boys had a quick conversation - it was ended when Mr. Weasley noticed Ron, and George quickly wound up the string, though not before we heard Mr. Weasley mutter something like "Lucky your mother didn't come..."

*** *** *** ***

I looked around the dark room I had stepped into, confused. Perhaps I had said the name wrong?

I wasn't in the Burrow, as was planned. I seemed to be in a kitchen. The walls were dark and looked cold. Clutters of junk piled in the corners, but the table was clean and hosted a full meal.

Maybe I did get the name wrong... But I was sure that I said "The Burrow!" clearly. I pulled my wand out, looking around the room. A door, which I hadn't noticed before, swung open, revealing a plump, red-haired woman, who was talking with a pale, black-haired man.

"Belle!" said Mrs. Weasley, pulling me into a hug. Over her shoulder, Sirius nodded and smiled at me. I smiled back. Upon releasing me, Mrs. Weasley noticed my confused face. "Oh, right! You probably expected to be at the Burrow right now..."

"Yeah, kinda." I said, looking around the kitchen once more.

"Well, I'd like to welcome you into my home, Belle. Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place, that is."

"How...?" I began, which is when Fred and George came climbing out of the fireplace, my trunk between them.

"We had the fireplaces connected, dear." Mrs. Weasley said. "Oh, boys, why don't you take that upstairs? Belle can share a room with Ginny and Hermione." Fred and George quickly left the room, and Mr. Weasley came stepping out from the fire with Ron.

"So, what exactly is this place?" I asked.

"That will be answered shortly, Miss Waters." I turned, not having noticed someone else entering the room. Albus Dumbledore stood next the door, Hermione standing beside him. "I need to have a word with you three - actually, four. Sirius," Dumbledore called as Sirius made his way out of the room with Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, "why don't you stay as well."

Motioning for us all to sit with him, Dumbledore sat at the table. "Miss Waters, I would like to officially welcome you to the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix."

"The... The what?" I asked.

"The Order of the Phoenix. We were founded back during the war, and now that Voldemort has returned, it's time to re-group."

"So... you fight Voldemort?"

"Basically, yes." Dumbledore smiled.

"Sweet. How do I join?"

Dumbledore and Sirius chuckled. "I'm afraid you have to be of age." Dumbledore said, eyes twinkling.

"Oh." I said, disappointed.

Dumbledore looked at each of us, then said, "Now, I'm sure you're all waiting to write to Harry, but each of you have to be aware that your letter can be intercepted at any time. You must swear not to write anything about your location or what we are doing here. Do you understand?" we all nodded.

Looking at Sirius now, he added, "We will be getting Harry, I can assure you of that. But you cannot give him any information about when. That goes for all of you." Dumbledore smiled, then glanced at the clock. "Oh, my. Well, I'm sorry to say that I won't be able to eat dinner with you tonight, as I must begin interviews for a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher... it seems like we're always short on them." chuckling, Dumbledore left, and Mr. Weasley, Mrs. Weasley, Ginny, Fred and George replaced him.

For the following week, I met a series of Order members: Kingsly Shacklebolt, a deep-voiced Auror; Nymphadora Tonks, a witch with morphing abilities; Mad-Eye Moody (it felt weird meeting someone I had thought to have known for a year) and recognized some familiar faces, including Professor Snape and Remus Lupin.

I got the feeling that the summer would be a long - and odd - one.

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