The Lies You Tell Yourself by Shanastay
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Shana: *screaming* HELP!

Kim: *walks in, fingers in ears* Chica, you need to chill!

Shana: You haven\'t seen Snape have you?

Kim: Severus? No. Why?

Shana: *rocking back and forth in chair* Get me out of these, quick!

Kim: *frowning* Why\'re you tied up?

Shana: Stop asking questions and untie me!

Snape: *struts in, brandishes wand at Kim* I strongly suggest you stand aside.

Shana: Awww, shit!

Snape: *prods* That is enough from you. Keep writing.

Kim: *wide-eyed*

Shana: *hissing* Bite me.

Snape: Really. *prods*

Shana: Bite. Me.

Snape: Very well. *bends over and bites woman on neck*

Shana: *whimpers*

Kim: *waves hand in air* Can I get in on this?

Snape: Did I not indicate it would be in your best interests to leave or suffer the consequences?

Kim: If \"consequences\" involve me getting trussed up naked to a bed and ravished by you I say, BRING IT ON!

Snape: Oh my.

Shana: *typing furiously* Hey you brought it on yourself dude. I\'m kinda \"tied up\" at the moment, so you\'re on your own.

Kim: *leers*

Snape: Perhaps a strategic retreat is in order.

Shana: Better run.

Snape: *Disapparates*

Kim: Damn. Shanastay is solely responsible for the mayhem caused by Shaluinn. Everyone else belongs to Rowling.

Chapter 5: A \"Titanic\" Endeavor

Shaluinn fought down the wave of nausea that threatened to overwhelm her as she spun round and round and finally popped out of the fireplace, into the living room of the Weasley clan\'s humble abode, the Burrow.

Professor McGonagall sidestepped, just in time for the hearth to disgorge the taller woman, the redhead dropping to her hands and knees, her eyes squeezed shut and twisted in a painful, ugly expression, soot flying all around her.

Molly walked into the room, wiping her hands on a towel, a tight smile gracing her lips as she caught sight of the Headmistress. \"Minerva, to what do we owe…\" She froze, eyes locked on the crumpled form on her living room floor.

Disheveled and motion-sick from her trip through the Floo, Shaluinn was quite the sight. Her unbound hair had flown every which way and, bent over as she was, and staving off dry-heaves, formed a flaming curtain that hid her green-cast features.

\"Professor Callaway…\" Minerva started to say, only to be cut off by the redhead lifting one arm and making a sweeping, violent gesture that clearly meant, Leave me be!

The two women waited in silence as the figure on the floor shook twice in succession and stilled. With an audible intake of breath, Shaluinn rose from her prone position, flipping her hair back behind her as she attempted to draw her fingers through the now snarled length and only succeeded in making herself grimace in pain. She quickly took in the two women watching her before turning to the one on her left. \"Minerva…?\"

McGonagall already had her wand out and ready.

Callaway snapped her right wrist and that wand dropped into her waiting hand.

With one eyebrow carefully arched, the Headmistress precisely performed the Cleansing Charm on the redhead. Once done, the new UD Professor performed it on her employer, mimicking her exactly.

\"Thank you, Minerva.\"

\"You\'re quite welcome, my dear. You are indeed, a quick study.\" The elder witch turned her attention to the now impatiently waiting matriarch of the Weasley clan. \"I apologize for the sudden intrusion. Molly Weasley, may I present you with Shaluinn Callaway, Hogwarts\' new Unwanded Defense Professor.\"

Shaluinn snapped her wrist, returning her wand to her sleeve, placed her hands together beneath her chin and bowed to the other redhead. \"I am pleased to make your acquaintance, Madam.\"

Molly\'s smile was strained, at best, taking in the new arrival\'s strange appearance and manner. \"A pleasure, I\'m sure.\" The mother turned her attention back to the Headmistress. \"Minerva?\"

\"I\'ll try to explain everything, Molly,\" McGonagall said, as she moved to usher the woman back into her kitchen. The Transfigurations Mistress spared Shaluinn a glance, nodding her head towards a door off to the side. \"Harry and the others are most likely outside,\" she advised, as she disappeared into the other room.

Finding herself suddenly alone, Shaluinn decided to follow Minerva\'s advice and went out the indicated door, gathering her hair at the back of her head and beginning to plait it into a single, thick braid as she went.

The American stepped out into the waning late afternoon sunlight, nudging her Ray-Bans back down onto her face with a forearm as she surveyed the area. Finding no one in sight, she took the time to finish the braid, fishing a hair-tie out of a pocket to hold it together. That accomplished, she made her way around the side of the house to find an open area with several picnic tables in it.

Sitting huddled over a book at one of the tables, the woman spotted three distinctive bent heads, one sporting a tangle of unruly black hair, the second having a mane of long, curly chestnut hue and the last sprouting a shock of red that matched that of the woman she had briefly met inside. Almost as one, the trio lifted their heads and turned to look at her with open mistrust and suspicion.

Something that should have occurred to her before that moment flashed through the American witch\'s mind. Exactly how am I supposed to convince these three I\'m here to help them?

An impromptu staring contest, of sorts, ensued as neither party wanted to be the one to make the first move.

Shaluinn was once again forced to consider the potential ramifications of her choice in attire. I must look like a fucking wanna-be Death Eater in all this black, but there was no way I\'d show up in pastels. Steeling herself against the potential confrontation ahead, the woman decided to show her hand first. When in doubt, the direct approach is usually best. Gods, I hope Hermione is even half as smart and level-headed as Albus has led me to believe.

Striding forward, the newest addition to the Hogwarts teaching staff made it a point of pulling off her sunglasses, so the trio before her could see her eyes and, hopefully, the truth in her words. Just like in Jump school, she wasted no time and flung herself headfirst into the ether.

\"Hi, I\'m Shaluinn Callaway. You three must be Harry, Hermione and Ron. Dumbledore sent me. I understand you have some Horcruxes to find and destroy, and a Dark Lord to depose. I\'m here to help you.\"