The Second War is about to begin, with Voldemort gaining power, and the Ministry denying his return. Ron&Hermione are looked as the ones to destroy HIM, but no one saw the return of the Savior they...
Chapter 5: Chaos in Order
After a long night of reading, and a few short hours of sleep, Harry pulled out a watch built for this time, and saw that it was seven in the morning. Hoping he wasn't too early, he left his room, and turned to the portraits.
"Excuse me, could you tell me how to get to where breakfast is served?" Harry asked politely.
"Follow me, I'll take you to the Great Hall, lad." A portrait of an older man replied, and began walking trough the frames, Harry closely behind, until they reached a huge hall with no ceiling?
Looking a bit closer, Harry noticed that the ceiling was in fact enchanted to look like the outside sky.
On a large table that stood alone in the hall, sat only three people, Dumbledore, Snape, and an older witch in emerald robes.
"Good morning Harry, I trust you slept well?" Dumbledore asked.
"Good morning. Actually, the bed was far too soft. I had to sleep on a couple of blankets on the floor." Harry replied as he sat down.
"I'll see what I can do. I hope you won't have to sleep on the floor in the future." Dumbledore said.
"Oh, pardon me. Harry, this is Professor McGonagall, Minerva, this is Harry Potter." He introduced the witch.
"A pleasure to meet you, professor." Harry nodded to the witch.
"Likewise, Mr. Potter. I must say it's good to have you back." She smiled at him.
"Thank you. Professor, do you feel like continuing our talk from yesterday?" Harry turned to Snape.
"I thought about it, and I'll make you an offer. I'll give you lessons three times a week, for thirty galleons a lesson." Snape said in his usual cold voice.
"Sounds fair to me. This Friday after breakfast for our first lesson?" Harry asked.
"Agreed. Until then, Mr. Potter." Snape replied and swept out of the hall.
"Would you be willing to tutor me in your subject as well, Professor?" Harry turned to McGonagall.
"Of course, Mr. Potter. Perhaps after you finish with Severus? And you don't have to pay me. I consider it my duty to teach you the art of Transfiguration." She smiled at him.
Breakfast continued in a similar manner, with Harry meeting the teachers and securing tutoring lessons to help him catch up. He managed to look into it, and decided to choose Arithmancy and Ancient Runes as his electives. He felt that anything else would be a waste of his time.
Once the breakfast was over, he was approached by the Headmaster.
"Harry, I hope you'll join me in a little trip for the rest of the day?"
"Where are we going?" Harry asked.
"To a place in London. I want to check up on a few friends, and I hope you'd like to meet them. Your godfather among them." Dumbledore answered.
"My godfather? Really? Lead the way, then, old man." Harry grinned.
"Alright then. Here, touch this." Dumbledore handed him an old fork. Before he could ask, he touched it, and felt himself hurtling trough space, until he all but slammed into the ground, and only years of training kept him from falling.
"You could have warned me." He snarled at Dumbledore.
"And miss your expression?" Dumbledore grinned.
"Need I remind you that I CAN tear you limb from limb?" Harry glared at the old man.
"No need to get angry. Portkeys aren't the most comfortable method of travel, but they're fast. Here, read this." Dumbledore gave him a small piece of parchment.
Harry first took a look around and noticed they were in somewhat decrepit part of town. He then glanced at the scribbling in his hand, reading 'The Headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix can be found at number twelve, Grimmauld Place, London.'
He looked questioningly at Dumbledore, and he said "Think of what you read. Let it fill your mind." Harry did so, and was amazed when a new house popped out from between the two houses.
"You're going to have to explain that." Harry looked at the old man.
"Once we're inside." Dumbledore replied after he burned the note, and led them trough a worn door into a dark corridor.
"This way Harry. After me." Dumbledore said after he closed the door and led him to what looked to be a kitchen.
The only people in the room were an older man, a young girl, and a group of redheads that appeared to be related. The moment Harry and Dumbledore entered, the man rapidly rushed towards Harry. Acting on instinct, Harry grabbed his hand and before anyone knew it, had him pinned against the wall.
"Ouch, that hurt, you know. Do you mind letting me go?" The man said hastily.
"Why did you try to attack me?" Harry hissed in his ear.
"I was trying to hug you, not kill you, Harry." The man replied. Hearing this, Harry let him go, and the man turned to face him, rubbing his shoulder. From experience, Harry knew he would feel sore all day.
"Sorry. Reflex action." He tried to sound apologetic.
"Don't worry about it. Anyway, the name's Sirius Black, I'm your godfather." The man gave him a wide grin.
"Sirius? What sort of name is that?" Harry teased.
"A very serious name, Harry, a very serious name." At this, they both broke in laughter.
"I swear that joke never gets old." Sirius said impishly.
"So, let me introduce the crowd. This lovely lady here is Hermione Granger." The girl in question blushed deeply at that.
"Next we have the Weasley family, Arthur, Ron, Fred, George, and Ginny." He pointed at each as he said their name. Harry noticed that Ginny blushed rather deeply when he looked at her, and he was drowned in a cloud of pheromones that made him dizzy. For a man who was trained to read even the faintest body language, she couldn't have made her thoughts any more obvious. She wanted him. Harry sighed at this
'Like I'd run into some silly human girl. Sorry love, not gonna happen.' Harry thought as Sirius pointed the last person in the room.
"And this is the true power of the Weasley family, Molly Weasley. They have three more kids, but they're not here at the moment."
"Seven children? The gatherings must be lots of fun." Harry grinned at them.
"Yup, they sure are. Maybe you could join us for the next one." Fred spoke up.
"I'd love to. So, who owns this ruin?" Harry asked, looking around the room.
"That would be me. This is my family home, but ever since my mother died, and with me being in Azkaban, the place started to fall apart." Sirius answered.
"Azkaban? Doesn't sound like a nice place." Harry looked at him.
"No, it's not. But first, I want to ask you something. Ever since Albus told me you showed up at Hogwarts, I was wondering where you were all these years." Sirius asked, and Harry noticed that everyone turned towards him.
"Well, after the attack, I was found and raised by this old woman who was passing trough town. When I was eight, she died, and I've been drifting trough the country ever since. I think that's the reason I never got a letter from Hogwarts. I never stayed in one place longer than a couple of days." Harry gave him the story he came up with during the night. It was acceptable, and people wouldn't question him so as not to have him remember bad memories.
"I'm sorry you had to live like that Harry. It's all my fault." Sirius said with tear-filled eyes.
"Don't be. It was a hard life, but I learnt a lot out there. I'm not sorry, so why should you be?" Harry replied firmly. He knew he should probably feel bad for lying to people who cared about him, but the feeling eluded him. He hadn't felt any emotions like guilt, remorse, or regret since he became a Lantrisi.
'So this is what Lord Deathhand meant when he said that we are not burdened by emotional weaknesses. It makes sense, in way. Guilt has no place in the mind of a predator.' Harry thought solemnly.
The rest of the day passed in idle chatting about all sorts of topics, until Ron, who was sitting next to Harry, began telling him about everything he had done in the last four years.
As the hours went by, Harry was treated to more and more stories by the arrogant boy, until Harry could hear his teeth grinding.
He knew if this didn't end soon, he would soon see a repeat of an incident during his basic training.
One of the cadets had a truckload of arrogance, and was constantly bragging about how he could do things better that anyone else. His banter was grating on everyone's nerves, but most just chose to ignore him.
However, this all ended during one lunch break when this cadet was dumb enough to sit next to Harry and go on a long speech about the incompetence of Lord Deathhand. His speech was cut short, however, when Harry slammed his face full force into the table, then pushed him on the floor, and proceeded to kick and stomp him. What was even more amusing was that the instructor, who was sitting across Harry, waited two whole minutes to break them apart.
Surprisingly, the cadet was man enough to publicly apologize for his behavior, and eventually became a ship captain on the Alliance border, and the last time Harry heard about him, he had managed to rise to the rank of datak.
But, Harry doubted beating Ron into the ground would accomplish anything in Ron. He looked to be as thick as he was arrogant.
Just as he was approaching the limit of his patience, Hermione spoke up.
"So, what do you think of Hogwarts?" Harry looked gratefully at her and replied. "Well, it's a bit overwhelming. There are so many things I've never seen before."
"Yeah, I know what you mean. I felt like that too when I got there. I was overwhelmed too at first, but you'll get used to it soon." She said.
"So, Harry, did you get your school stuff yet? We have yet to go to Diagon Alley." Hermione asked again.
"Well, I went with Hagrid yesterday and I got all I needed. But, if you want some company, I'd be happy to join you." Harry smiled at the girl, and inwardly smirked when she blushed.
Humans were so easy. Push the right buttons, and they'll do anything you want. Remembering something, Harry turned to Dumbledore.
"Oh, Headmaster, you still haven't told me how this house was hidden."
"It's put under the Fidelius charm. It hides the location of the target into a living soul, a Secret Keeper, and unless you're told the secret, you cannot find it, even if run headfirst in the house." Dumbledore grinned as he replied.
"By the way, Albus, when can we go to the Alley? We have a lot of things to get." Mrs. Weasley asked the old man.
"You're free to go tomorrow. I don't expect anything to happen." He replied, and the group broke out chatting about what they needed to buy.
"Hey Harry, fancy some desert?" George handed him a cream filled pasty.
He sniffed it carefully, and looked back at George. "Interesting. Care to tell me what exactly does the potion do?" The grin George was sporting vanished instantly.
"What do you mean? There's no potion in it." He said hastily.
"Then you eat it. Go on." Harry handed the pasty back.
George took the pasty and hesitated for a few moments before he took a bite, then to everyone's surprise, turned into a giant canary. He sat like that for a minute, until he shivered a little and all the feathers fell off.
"No potion huh? Nice one, though." Harry joined the collective laughter.
The day passed quite enjoyably for the small crowd, as everyone met the boy-who-lived. Hearing this name, Harry threatened with painful dismemberment of anyone who used it in his presence. That night, much to Harry's displeasure, he was shooed upstairs with the rest of the children so that the adults could have a meeting. Gritting his teeth, he did as he was told, but once he was upstairs, he sneaked into an empty room, and turned his entire body pitch black, before he snuck slowly downstairs. He turned off his bracelet, and propped himself on the ceiling before the kitchen door, using his enhanced hearing to listen to the meeting.
He was disappointed from what he heard. He learnt absolutely nothing useful to him. The Order of the Phoenix was mostly focused on recruiting and guarding something. There were several that were tailing known Death Eaters, Harry snorted at the name. 'If they wish death so much, I would feed them.' The main problem however, was that the government refused to believe Voldemort was back. In fact, anyone who claimed otherwise was slandered so badly in the papers that not even themselves believed it. 'Democracy. Only a human would cling to something so useless.'
At last, the meeting seemed to come to a close, so Harry dropped down, and got back to the others.
"Where were you?" Hermione asked him the moment he walked in.
"I was looking for a toilet and got lost." Harry replied calmly.
"You shouldn't wander around, the house isn't safe." She said in a bossy tone.
"I'm fine. No need to worry." He said.
The next morning, the entire group had a quick breakfast, before heading out to Diagon Alley. It turned out the Sirius' house was relatively close to the Leaky Cauldron, the pub that served as the entrance to Diagon Alley.
While most of the group were in Flourish and Blots for their books, Ron, Sirius and Harry stopped at the Quidditch store. Ron had drilled the game into his skull last night, and Sirius had insisted that he get him a broomstick as an early birthday present.
Ten minutes later, Sirius and Harry walked out, Harry holding a brand new Firebolt in his hand. He noticed, with no small amount of satisfaction, the jealous looks Ron threw at his broom. Well, sometimes it was fun to be petty.
Once they got everything they needed, Harry called out. "Hey how about an ice-cream? Get anything you want, it's on me." Everyone smiled at that, and rushed to Florean Fortescue's Ice cream parlor.
Eventually, everyone returned back to the house, tired, but in a good mood. The next day, Harry returned to Hogwarts, but promised to visit again.
He had finally made some plans for the future. Remembering the basic principles of the Order, he arranged his strategy accordingly. He could hear his teacher as he made the plans 'The Order is a force that focuses on infiltration and espionage. It is our task to blend in the surroundings of the target, regardless of whether you're retrieving information or assassinating, that they would completely overlook you and ignore you as a possible threat. Follow this, and you will never fail.' So, becoming what people expected him to be would be would give him the greatest advantage in this fight.
'Who would believe that a goody little boy is really a cold blooded assassin?' Harry grinned as he read one of his books, preparing for the tutoring lessons that would start soon.
The tutoring he arranged for finally started, and he was learning magic at a rapid pace. Incredibly, even though the Lantrisi knew much less spells than the people here, they still had a much better understanding of magic. 'Let's worry about later. I'll destroy all their beliefs after I kill Voldemort.' Harry thought as he was mixing a simple antidote. It seemed he had talent for potions, something Snape didn't look happy about. Snape also agreed to teach him Defense against the Dark Arts, due to the fact that the professor assigned to teach that subject was one of the minister's most trusted aides. The other teachers were amazed by his progress, and by the end of August, he managed to catch up with the rest of the fifth years.
Finally, the day came in which he would be revealed to the rest of the wizard public. While the rest of the students were traveling with the train from London to the castle, Harry sat into his room, doing what relaxed him most, cleaning the weapons he had. It was this way that Dumbledore found him, and the old man was staring slack jawed as his hands flew in a blur over a pile of random pieces. Several moments later, three rifles stood on the desk. Harry took them, and placed them back into his trunk.
"Can I help you, Headmaster?" Harry finally turned to the old man.
"What? Oh, yes, you should get down to the Great Hall; the students will arrive in about fifteen minutes. You'll sit on the staff table until you're sorted. Don't worry, you're going first." Dumbledore told him.
"Alright sir. Just let me change." With that, Harry's clothes melted into the Hogwarts uniform, but without any house markings.
"When I get sorted, could you wave your wand towards me so I can change the colors? I don't want anyone suspecting my abilities." Dumbledore simply nodded, and led them to the Great Hall.
Everything was already set for the students, and the teachers were already seated. Everyone greeted him, even Snape, except for the Defense teacher, Professor Umbridge. She considered him a little strange, and she didn't like strange people. Also, his refusal to let her into his room didn't get much approval with her. At last, the doors of the hall opened, and the students began to pour in. Harry noticed that many of the students stared at him with unmasked curiosity. Finally, everyone, including the new first years were inside, and Professor McGonagall brought out the Sorting Hat.
The Hat's song was quite intriguing, and Harry smirked at its warning to unite the houses. It would never happen. Not with these people anyway.
He then heard Dumbledore speak up. "Everyone, before we begin the sorting of the new students, we have a special sorting to do first. A new student will be joining the fifth years. So please, let us welcome Harry Potter." The hall erupted at this, everyone staring in shock at the boy-who-lived.
Harry walked calmly to McGonagall, and she gave him the Hat. He sat on the small chair, and put it on. Instantly, he heard a faint voice in his head.
"Interesting. Would you care to explain why you only seem to remember the last few months?" The hat's mental voice said in an irritated tone.
"Oh, sorry, I forgot about that. Here, just let me get the barriers down." Harry grinned and revealed the rest of his past.
'My, my, that is quite the life, Mr. Potter. Yes, you're certainly a difficult one. You would do nicely in any house; I have no doubt about that. Oh, what is this? You have the heart of a warrior, it seems. I believe you'd do best in GRYFFINDOR.' The hat shouted out, and the Gryffindor table erupted in loud cheers. Harry stood up, and after Dumbledore gave a small flick of his wand that changed his robe to Gryffindor markings, he joined said table, sitting next to the Weasley's and Hermione. With that, the sorting continued, and when the last one was sorted, Dumbledore stood up again and said.
"To our newcomers, welcome! To our old hands, welcome back! There is a time for speech making, but this is not it. Tuck in!" With that, a huge feast appeared on the tables, and everyone dug in. Since he didn't need the food, Harry was content with simply sampling the various dishes. He was appalled when he saw Ron shoveling food in his mouth. 'God, I've seen Gorash with better table manners.' Harry rolled his eyes. Hermione obviously caught this, since she leaned towards him and whispered.
"Don't mind him; he thinks the food will vanish if he doesn't eat it as soon as possible." She shot Ron a short glare before he returned to her own meal.
Soon enough, the meal was over, and Dumbledore stood up once again.
"Well, now that we are all digesting another magnificent feast, I beg a few moments of your attention for the usual start of term notices. First years ought to know that the Forest in the grounds is out of bounds to students and a few of our older students ought to know by now, too."
Taking a short breath, Dumbledore continued.
"Mr. Filch, the caretaker, has asked me, for what he tells me is the four hundred and sixty second time, to remind you all that magic is not permitted in corridors between classes, nor are a number of other things, all of which can be checked on the extensive list now fastened to Mr. Filch's office door. We have had two changes in staffing this year. We are very pleased to welcome back Professor Grubbly-Plank, who will be taking Care of Magical Creatures lessons; we are also delighted to introduce Professor Umbridge, our new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher." Dumbledore pointed out the two women.
"Tryouts for the house Quidditch teams will take place on the..." He was interrupted however, by Professor Umbridge.
Her speech was purest rubbish, but the hidden message was very clear. She was there to make sure the school was run according to the will of the Ministry.
"A most interesting speech. This will be a most eventful year." Harry said calmly, and Hermione nodded in agreement.
Everyone stood up to retire to their dorms, and drifted out the doors. Harry stuck to the crowd until they reached the fourth floor, and he split from the group.
"Harry, the Gryffindor tower is this way." Ron pulled on his hand.
"I know, Ron. I'm not sleeping there, I have a separate room." Harry jerked his hand away.
"You do? How come?" Ron was surprised at this.
"I'll tell you in the morning. Good night everyone." With that, Harry rushed into the guest corridor, and hastily said "Lantus" to the portrait before his room. Casting a quick glance around the room, he returned to his pet project. He knew that a lot of his books would be frowned upon, and many would get him in jail. So, he gathered up all those books in one bookcase, and tonight, he was ready for the final stage of the plan. He pulled out his wand, and drew complicated runes on each corner of the bookcase, and one on his forehead using a small mirror, before pointing at the center and saying clearly "Fidelius." The bookcase vanished, but then Harry thought 'The third bookcase can be found on the north wall.' With that, the bookcase appeared again, and Harry smiled in satisfaction.
With that done, he returned to reading 'The Master's guide to Potions,' a really rare book he got from Knockturn Alley. Harry could swear Snape would have an orgasm when he saw the book, and then practically begged Harry to let him borrow it. It was one of the best books on Potions in existence, with only thirty copies left in the world.
Somewhere around three a.m. he decided he had enough, and went to sleep. Dumbledore had kept his promise, and changed his bed according to his specifications. Right now, he was sleeping on a wooden bed with a very thin mattress and just as thin pillow.
He woke up at seven, and quickly found his way down to the Great Hall, and after about twenty minutes, he was joined by the rest of his year mates.
"So Harry, what's this about you having a private room?" Ron asked with badly disguised jealousy.
"Well, I tend to have nightmares often, and I talked to Dumbledore about it, and he said I could have one of the guest rooms." Harry said evasively. Fortunately, everyone seemed to have bought his lie, as they fell silent. The moment was broken once McGonagall came with their timetables.
Ron immediately complained about the day's subjects.
"Oh, come now, it's not so bad. Sure, history is a bit dull, but Potions and Defense should be alright. Although, I'm not sure about Defense. That Umbridge woman doesn't seem like the best teacher." Harry said.
"Wait a moment. You're looking forward to Potions, with Snape? You're barmy." Ron stared at him.
"He's not that bad, Ron. You just have to know how to handle him." Harry replied.
"Yeah and how's that?" Ron asked him.
"Like a bottle of nitroglycerin of course. With extreme caution." Harry grinned at that.
History of magic was just as predicted, dull and boring. The ghost teacher, Binns, droned on and on in a sleep inducing voice, and pretty soon, only Harry and Hermione stayed attentive. Harry seriously reevaluated his thoughts on Hermione's willpower. He knew Order members with less focus than her. Granted, low level members, but still in the order. The higher ones didn't even consider the third class as members, since they were nothing more then better trained soldiers, mostly used to guard secure installations. The second class were the spies, the eyes and ears of the Lantrisi amongst their enemies. The first class was the least numerous, but they were the most feared. The Order of Assassins, the most feared vampires in the galaxy. If Hermione was born a Lantrisi, she could have matched Sophia in skill and efficiency. Thinking about his love still caused him great pain. He couldn't help himself from thinking about her. Has she gotten over him? Has she found someone else? Finally, he managed to get his mind away from such thoughts, and returned to reality. They left History, and headed towards Potions. Snape began the lesson by stressing out the importance of the OWL exams, before setting them to work on the Draught of Peace. Focusing solely on his work, Harry managed to brew a perfect potion along with Hermione. Ron however, was not as competent and had green sparks shooting out his cauldron. After the class was over, the group split up, with Ron going to Divination, and Harry and Hermione going to Ancient Runes. The subject was very interesting to Harry, even though he already knew most of the runes as well as dozens of ancient human languages, thanks to Lord Deathhand, who had lived in that era. It was interesting however, to learn the magical properties of the runes, and how to use them.
They joined with Ron in front of the Defense classroom. That class, in short, was in short, useless. Umbridge made it perfectly clear that they would stick strictly to theory in her class. Most students were quick to voice their displeasure at this, and Ron even got himself a detention.
The rest of the week passed in the same hectic atmosphere, with them getting buried in homework. Ron was amazed that Harry could do all his homework the same day it was given and still stay fresh the next day.
Finally the weekend came, and after breakfast Ron and Hermione insisted that he show them his room. Reluctantly, Harry agreed. He led them to the portrait, and said "Lantus." The portrait swung open, and the trio walked in Harry's room.
Hermione rushed to the bookcases, and stared in awe at some of the rarer and more expensive tomes.
They both noticed that there were a few things that were unusual. First off was the bed, which they both considered to be very uncomfortable. Second was the large metal trunk that seemed out of place in the room.
"What sort of trunk is that? I've never seen a trunk made of metal." Hermione moved her hand over the trunk, and exclaimed "Wait, this isn't steel. What sort of metal is this?" Just then, her hand touched a smooth section in the center of the trunk. The section flashed red for a moment, before it displayed four strange symbols, with the last changing every second. If she didn't know better, she would have sworn it was a countdown.
Before she could say anything, she was pushed away by Harry, who touched the pad, then tapped several buttons in quick succession. The pad flashed blue, then remained inactive.
"Alright, what was that all about?" She stared at him.
"I will only say this once. Never, ever, touch my trunk." Harry stared at them.
"What do you mean? You can at least tell us why." Ron sounded a bit confused.
"Sorry, it's just that this trunk is really important to me. A guy I knew once made it for me. I saved his life, and he gave me this trunk as payment. I keep everything that's dear to me in there. I just don't want people digging trough them." Harry said sadly.
"Oh, I understand. Sorry I poked around." Hermione said solemnly.
"Never mind. So, do you like my books?" He pointed out the bookcases.
"Oh yeah, I love them. How did you manage to get these, a lot of them are really expensive." She said rapidly.
"Actually, it turned out my family had quite a fortune. I just put it to good use. Here, let me show you one of my favorite books." Harry could have sworn her eyes barely managed to stay in their sockets when he showed her 'the Master's guide to Potions.'
"How did you get this one Harry? There are only thirty copies left in the world." She looked at him in awe.
"It was a bargain deal. Let's say I have a talent for haggling." He grinned at her shocked face.
"Hey, what's this for?" Ron pointed to a large piece of wood that was sporting several thin but very deep holes. "These look like they were made by..." He continued, but Harry finished for him "Knives. Yes, that's right." Harry stood up, and faced the board. Before they could even blink, two long and vicious daggers were sticking from it. Calmly, Harry walked to the board, pulled them out, and put them back in their hidden sheaths.
"Do you carry those all the time?" Hermione asked wide-eyed.
"It's an old habit. I know I don't need to here, but it's not a habit I can lose in a few days. Saved my life more then once, this pair has." Harry said idly.
Neither Ron nor Hermione said anything at that, they simply sat in silence for a few minutes, before managing to turn the topic to schoolwork.