Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Fellowship of the Fox

Chapter 13 - Conundrums

by Ryuuohjin 2 reviews

Problems, and more problems

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: G - Genres: Fantasy - Characters: Dumbledore,Ginny,Voldemort - Warnings: [?] - Published: 2015-09-15 - 6103 words

The Fellowship of the Fox
by Ryuuohjin

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Disclaimer - I do not on any way own Harry Potter or any of it's world or characters.
They all fully belong to J.K. Rowling and her affiliates.


Chapter 13 - Conundrums

Kerry Rasp stirred in her sleep, muttering things in her dreams. A gentle knock on her door made her entire body flinch.

"Kerry," a teenage girl at the door said. "It is time to wake up."

After a few more restless movements, Kerry just yawned, rolled over and returned to peaceful slumber. In her slumbering state she didn’t notice the door opening and a quite strange blond teenage girl stepping in.

Kerry could sleep like the dead, the girl mused as she walk up to the side of Kerry's bed.

Kerry lay on her side hugging astuffed toy dragon of some sort, and clutching her bed covers. She looks quite peaceful, the blond girl thought as an evil little smirk creep up on her face.

Kerry was then unceremoniously awoken as her bed covers were dragged from the mattress, carrying her with them. With a groan, she rolled back and forth, gradually untangling herself from the mess of sheets until she was finally free. Groggily rubbing her head, she slowly opening her eyes and looked up at whoever had decided to act as her alarm clock. She instantly regretted it, though, as she was met with a amused, smirking blonde.

"Oh, good morning Ena," Kerry said drowsily, arching her back with jaw-cracking yawn.

"Good morning Kerry", Ena replied. "It's time for breakfast, so get up."

"OK, I'm on my way. See you down stairs," Kerry said with another big yawn, as rubbed her eyes sleepily.

The room the Kerry slept in was the one neighbouring one to her twin sister Ena, and shared a bathroom hers. In the end of the same corridor the room were laid the master bedroom, in which their little sister, Rhy, slept. The room painted in pale green with beige trim, with dark walnut floor, that had several rugs strewed here and there. A comfortable looking chaise lounge sat under one of the windows.

Stretching out before the window were a perfectly manicured flower gardens and hedges grown and trimmed in intricate patterns. Pathways of bricks led amongst the gardens with a few benches scattered in shaded spots. A wide driveway bisected the hedges and circled in front of the house. It too was made of bricks.

The pink haired girl yawned deeply when she finally sat down at the table for breakfast with her family. A house-elf, which looked slightly grumpy, slid a plate of toast and a cup of coffee in front of her. Even after waking it had still took Kerry several minutes before proper consciousness had settled in, and in that time the house-elf had taken it upon itself to drag the sleepy girl up, dress her and shove her into the bathroom to get washed up. Needless to say, Kerry wasn't much of a morning person.

She reached over to grab a jar of jam, only to be stopped halfway. Looking down, she sheepishly noticed the reddish jelly already spread on the bread, and glanced back at her sisters, one was nibbling at her own breakfast and staring off to the side. While the other seem devour a mountain of it, in comparison to her small size. Mornings like had become fairly routine for the girls, ever since they returned from the Grangers over a week ago.

When breakfast was over and Kerry fully awake, Dobby popped in and left a large bunt of parchment in front of them. Along with telling them about his exploits yesterday.

"Now, what do you mean when you that you had taken most of what we would want from the Malfoys?" Ena asked confused.

Dobby looked both sorry and proud of himself in a strange expression on his face. "Master Harry is beating Bad Master Lucius' old master when he was being a baby. Magic says when you beat them, you is having everything from the loser and Bad Master was giving everything of his to his master. Dobby decided since Master Harry beat the loser, Master Harry is owning everything that was his, including Bad Master's things. So, Dobby go to every place Bad Master hides things and takes it all."

Rhy still hadn't managed get Dobby over the habit call her Harry Potter when he was excited. The original plan had just been to have Dobby throw a couple of vials fiendfyre, then pop away. The looting of Malfoy Manor, while it was good idea in after thought, seemed to be completely his own initiative.

"So, you took everything Lucius was hiding?" Kerry asked, causing Dobby to nod quickly enough to make his ears slap his face loudly. "Dobby, you're awesome! Can any of it be tracked back to us?"

"No. Dobby is finding nothing with tracking charms. He searched every piece and is finding none at all!"

"Do you think the law enforcement will be looking for any of it? I mean, Lucius was sure to tell them of the thefts..."

"Not at all! Bad Master is having almost all dark thingies! If Bad Master was to say anything was stolen, they would ask from where it was stolen and if they ask that, then they would want to know what else was stolen, and if they ask that, then they is finding out Bad Master is having many bad thingies that would get him into trouble!"

Rhy ... thought she understood that. "So, he didn't want questions asked?"

"Exactly! Oh, I knew Master Harry Potter Sir was smart!" Dobby cried out gleefully, never minding that was exactly what he had told Rhy. But, since it wasn't exactly what he said, it was obvious his mistress knew better than Dobby thought she did!

That poor elf's logic was about as linear and clear as anest of Devil's Snare. Either way the point was moot, since Manor had burned to the ground. So wouldn't no one would even notice that most things had been stolen.

"Hm... Did you get any polyjuice potions? Or do you know where I can get some?"

"Dobby is getting some from Bad Master," Dobby said with a fast nod."Bad Master is having many potions that Dobby has taken! Dobby put them in the medicine room!"

"That moves our plans up then, Dobby," Rhy said. "I need you to scout out the Parkinson's and the Nott's, and find out their daily routine for the next couple of days, okay?"

"Dobby can be doing that!" And the elf popped away to do just that.

"That is one crazy elf," Rhy muttered with a fond smile as she picked one of parchment and started to read it, Kerry asked. "What's that?"

"It's preliminary reports on Longbottom's, that the house-elfs are currently watching over," Rhy replied."If everything goes according to plan, we should able start to try treating them next Monday. But for now house-elf are trying to gather as much data as possible for us, before we can start that."

"Why not just start treating them now. Instead of waiting, and shouldn't others also get copy of this," Kerry said impatiently.

"Kreacher should already have delivered a copy to Neville, and another copy to Hermione. And as for why we wait is, that we don't actually what's wrong with Neville's parents."

"I thought they suffered from over exposure to the Cruitus curse," Ena asked confusedly.

"We have confirmed that they had been exposed to it. But the cruciatus doesn't do to people what you say happened to Frank and Alice. The victims may break, but they don't turn into vegetables. They either get their ability to function back or the physical pain kills them. So therefore we suspect they had been exposed to something else as well."

"As what?"

"We don't know, therefore they will be under surveillance for a week. The house-elfs will watch over them and gather what data they can, then we'll see what we will from there."


Nymphadora Tonks groaned as she finally came to a stop, finishing her two lap jog around the neighbourhood. She was starting to regret the lack of daily exercise routines over the last week. Normally, after a nice jog, she was pumped up and ready to begin the day. Right now, all she wanted was a good shower. She glanced at her surroundings to make sure nobody had followed her. As her mentor Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody always said, "CONSTANT VIGILANCE!"

When she was confident there was nothing suspicious, she made her way inside the Order's HQ. She changed her appearance back to normal; she had put on a disguise – thanks to her Metamorphmagus skills – so nobody would identify her, just to be on safe side. She had stayed at Grimmauld Place since the meeting yesterday had ended.

Tonks walked into the room she had been using and grabbed an outfit and shower supplies from her duffel bag. Then she made her way upstairs toward the bathroom. Tonks groaned, as she began to undress out of her sweaty jogging clothes.

She really needed a shower.

It was then she heard a small pop, and what looked like a fox appeared out of nowhere. As their eyes meet, Tonks could swear that the fox looked very flustered and embarrassed, maybe even mortified. She never knew that a fox show such an human expression. But before she could do anything or even get a closer look at it, another pop was heard and the fox had disappeared.


It was a weakened Voldemort who appeared in front of a set of iron gates that guarded the path up to a large mansion, that would become his refuge of escape. It was the long-forgotten home of Evan Rosier. He had been the last of his line when he fell fighting Aurors. With the home being located in a remote rural area no one had been interested in and it slowly slipped from people's minds. It was by no means luxurious as Malfoy Manor, had been, but it was still better than the forest of Albania or the decrepit Riddle Manor.

After having verified there were no hidden traps or detection spells on around him, the Dark Lord turned his attention to the gates and the powerful wards he felt surrounding the property. He put his hands upon the plate affixed to the bars that bore the crest of the Rosier family. As he did, he felt the magic give way and allow him passage.

Once he was through the wards he apparated onto the front steps of the mansion. He felt more wards around the door but this time when he placed his hands upon the wooden entrance he could not feel a sense of acceptance from it. He quickly overwhelmed the defences with his own magic and opened the door.

'I need more servants,' He thought as he glanced around the disrepair of the house.

As he conjured a chair, his mind wandered to his biggest problem.'Someone managed to attack almost all of my followers houses. Although this manor seemed to have escaped his unknown enemy grasp,'Voldemort thought annoyed.

The Dark Lord had just managed to control the anger and not extract the punishment as he called his followers. He knew he could do that another time after he had marshalled his forces. What he needed the most now was time, time to bolster his forces, time to plan.

"Search the house and the perimeter for any traps or animals. Then report back to me." The Dark Lord said as several low-level death eaters responded to his call.

As Voldemort watched his death eater walk quickly away he started prioritizing his own needs. He knew there were many things he needed to do to reacquire the power he once had. Many thoughts ran through his mind on what those were but the main one was persistent. Someone were mocking him, and when he found out who they were, they would pay dearly. And in how successful this new enemy had in attacking his support, he suspected there was a turncoat amongst his followers, but he couldn't be sure. But one was certain there was aleak, and he would find and plug up by any means necessary.

The seat Voldemort had conjured was more throne than chair. More grandiose than the chair he had used at Malfoy Manor, it was in fact very similar to the chair Albus Dumbledore used in the Great Hall of Hogwarts. As he settled into it, he opened the Daily Prophet he had acquired by summoning and killing a passing delivery owl. Calm fury swept through the Dark Lord as he read the headlines, which brought back the aggravating memories of the howler he had revived, and the humiliation he suffered from it.

The Dark Lord continued to contemplate his plans and how badly things had gone the previous night. "It is but a minor setback though," He thought. "I am immortal and have all the time in the world. It might take longer than expected, but someday the world will kneel at my feet," Finally Voldemort rose from this throne and pulled out his wand as he started thinking of the wards he would deploy around the house and property.


Being the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was not an easy job. Neither was leading the Order of the Phoenix during the first war against Voldemort. But both jobs entailed fewer headaches than being the sole person aware of the entire Prophecy regarding Voldemort and Harry,

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 ...

It seemed rather simple at first; at least after the tragedy in Godric's Hollow. The Potters were betrayed, but baby Harry struck down Voldemort at the height of his powers. Their betrayer was soon locked away at Azkaban and Wizarding society began its slow, halting ascent from the dark times.

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore slowly put down his copy of the special edition of the Daily Prophet. His eyes stared off into space as he frowned and he opened his desk drawer and retrieved a light blue potion. Madam Pomfrey had presented him with aset of mild pain-relieving potions after Minerva had seen him rub at his temples one time too many during a staff meeting. Even with his glasses, he was occasionally subject to a touch of eyestrain, and reviewing the joint budget allocations seemed to be quite sufficient to present him with a pounding headache.

But his current migraine had nothing to do with finances.

He barely registered the taste as he drank the potion, his mind still trying to make sense of everything he'd just read. The Ministry was been torched in the media, with Daily Prophet leading the charge, over yesterday portkey debacle. Property worth of thousands had been destroyed or damaged. Dussins of witches and wizards had been hurt, some even severely, luckily no had died. Several more had been injured as they tried to capture all the animals on loose, he heard that it taken over adussin of witches and wizards to subdue the dragon that had found rampaging amongst the ruins of Malfoy Manor. Albus didn't really know if it was good or bad luck that the Malfoy Manor had burned to ground, but if should be honest to himself he couldn't think of better it could happen to then Lucius Malfoy.

Rita Skeeter was once again decrying the Ministry's actions during yesterday's chaos. She had then continued by question why no one had tried prevented anything like this from happening. She also reported on the that been by several in the Ministry's lobby during the day, and how had implied that they knew that what Albus Dumbeldore and Harry Potter was true, but had chosen to turn a blind eye to situation. She then dragged him into to it by drawing parallels between this and how the situation with Boy-Who-Lived had been handled. Using the interview with the Harry as her main source of quotes and comments.

While the boy's statements were true, perhaps too much so. His bluntness, recorded with great glee by Ms. Skeeter's quill, was going to cause all manner of problems, both for the boy and for himself. How she managed to get interview with Mr. Potter was mystery in it self. He should loath the woman, from how she had portrayed him in media through the year.

But the Headmaster was forced to admit that Harry's rage was more than understandable. He and his friends had been targeted quite deliberately last term, victims of a plot that nearly cost Harry his life, and which unfortunately had cost young Cedric Diggory his.

While his anger was justifiable, Albus Dumbledore did not see what the boy hoped to gain in doing all this. When he returned to Hogwarts he'd be an even bigger target than before, and not only from Voldemort's former servants. The Ministry would not take this lying down, by any means. He did not look forward to his next meeting with Cornelius – he had no doubt the man would suspect him of playing a role in this. He'd resented Albus not allowing Harry to become a ward of the Ministry after the deaths of his parents, and this interview would, to him, be a justification of his most paranoid fears.

There was little doubt in Professor Dumbledore's mind that this would drive a wedge between Hogwarts and the Ministry. But what he couldn't fathom was why this was happening.

Another cause of his headache was that other prophecy he heard at end the last term.

The time neigh, the stage has been set and the cast assembled...
The die has been cast, and the Flight of Death has returned...
As the Serpent Lord hides and plots, while summoning his minions...
The die has been cast, and The Chosen One has freed been and escaped from his prison...
As a fox, born from a stag and a flower, has returned from what will never be...
Chaos and mayhem will follow in their tracks, as they change what once were...
The die has been cast, and a storm is building, black and terrible...
Death will stalk the land, and the bumblebee has called for its allies to prepare for its onslaught...
The time neigh, the stage has been set and the cast assembled...

Albus still haven't managed to fully figure this one out, but he did have some theories.

He had concluded the Flight of Death and Serpent Lord both was the same person which was Voldemort. And the Chosen One was most likely Harry. The storm the prophecy talk about he guessed was the war that he knew was brewing. The bumblebee that the prophecy spoke was of probably him, since Albus had the meaning bumblebee. What worried him was the deaths and chaos that the prophecy spoke about.

He no idea who this fox, that the prophecy spoke about was. Or what it meant that this fox had returned from what never was, nor did the know how this fox would change what once were. But suspect that the group that called themselves the Fellowship of Fox knew, or at least had a clue. If could get in contact with them, he could check if he were right.

'"A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma," a Muggle Prime Minister had once said. It was a singularly apt description of the subject that was prophecies', Albus thought.


Rhy whistled a cheery tune as she walked, (And no, she was not skipping; what that was left of her male pride as Harry Potter would not allow it, ergo she did not skip. It was…just a particularly bouncy walk... Really...), down the cobble street in Diagon Alley.

She had just come out of the office of the Daily Prophet, where had arranging some ads for their store, 'The Fox Den'. She on her to the Leaky Cauldron to grab a quick, but to try convince Tom, the barkeeper at Leaky Cauldron, to hang up some advertisement posters in the pub for their store. The plan was to have similar posters hanging in Madam Malkins, Flourish & Blotts and Florean Fortescue's Ice-cream Parlour too.

She smiled at the sight of a peaceful, active Diagon Alley. Everywhere, witches and wizards doing their shopping were walking in and out of stores which showed no signs of the horrors that would take soon place in if they didn't succeed with their plans.

The only difference was that Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes was not where it should be. That was still a rather odd experience for Rhy, for some reason. But she had already, once again, help them with their dreams of opening a joke shop. While she was still here, she also decided to get something for Neville birthday tomorrow too, while she was at it


Tavish Weldon was nervous. With each step they took, he grew more and more anxious, and he honestly wasn't sure what to expect. He, along with group of seven witches and wizards, were tasked with removal of a Hairy MacBoon, a.k.a. Quintiped, from the house of a witch named Dolores Umbridge, which was the Undersecretary to Minister of Magic.

The Quintiped had stumped his superiors quiet a bit. Since Quintapeds, also known as the Hairy MacBoons, were a very dangerous magical beast with five legs, each ending in a clubfoot, and was covered with thick, red-brown hair. They were carnivorous, with a particular taste for humans and as such are extremely hostile towards them. They could only be found on the Isle of Drear, which was a small island located off the northernmost tip of Scotland. Since the Isle of Drear was the home of the Quintaped it been made Unplottable, because of the danger the Quintaped presented.

Tavish didn't like Umbridge that much, he actually hadn't meet anyone who did. Dolores Umbridge was by no means a nice person, she was probably the type of witch which people thought of when they described 'the wicked witch of the west'. He would like to nothing more to leave, the Quintiped where it was, since it to seemed have settled quite in quite nicely in the house of the Minister's Undersecretary, much to the witch in question utter dismay, but a job was job. But it seemed like collateral damage would be unavoidable in this case. That was really too bad that. But, really... there seemed to be no avoiding that.

The Quintaped was very dangerous magical beast after all, and some just had to be sacrifices made in the line of duty. But that's life, like all people say.


Ginny rolled her tomato around the plate with her fork for what seemed to be the hundredth time. Her other hand had her face rested on it while her eyes seemed to be focused on nothing. It was currently dinner at Grimmauld Place and everyone were gathered around the table, to impart some of feast her mother made earlier, but Ginny's mind were currently on other more important matters then her food.

It had fallen to her, Ron, and Hermione to asses the damage they had caused the previous day, by collating the various information they and their friends had gathered. These would then be compiled into areport, which be used to plan their move. They had found out from Kreacher that the Order had gotten reports that said the Time Chamber had been trashed. It seemed like some of the animals had managed to find their way the DoM, and not one of the time turner had survived the chaos they had caused.

To make matters worse, it seemed like their whole supply of quantum quartz, ( which was used as sand in the time turners), had either been tainted or disappeared into various voracious bellies. Which according to the reports, had in some instances unique side effects on some of the animals. Quantum quartz, is a rare ore that is both hard find and mine. And is used in time turners because its unique ability to affect the flow of time around it. It Although it only had weak affect in its raw and natural state, and need to be processed and refined before used it could be used in time turners.

Another thing Kreacher reported was that the prophecy regarding Harry Potter and Voldemort was still intact, and was still under the continued constant guard of the Order.

Ginny really looked forward to Neville's birthday bash tomorrow, not did gets she see her friends, she also get got escape cleaning this dreadful place for awhile. She felt sorry for Sirius who yet would be unable to enjoy that freedom. But they had already gotten the ball rolling there, if everything worked out he soon be free.


As Albus Dumbledore opened the door and entered the office of Head of the DMLE, he felt the gossamer touch of various security charms and privacy enchantments. Madam Bone's office was very spartan, especially given her seniority within the Ministry. Several filing cabinets jostled for space with an unadorned desk.

"Thank you for coming Albus." Amelia Bones said to the Hogwarts Headmaster as he sat down in a chair in front of her desk. She hadn't been surprised when he'd transfigured it into a more comfortable armchair before sitting down. "I know it's late but I wanted to discuss a few things."

"My pleasure as always Amelia," Replied Dumbledore. "What can I do for you?"

"First thing is Mr. Potter. Is he at his relatives?" Amelia Bones asked.

"No, and I have no idea where Mr. Potter currently is," Dumbledore replied. "It seems vanished before the Express reached King's Cross."

"How?" Amelia asked. "Shouldn't there at least be clue how he did it?"

"I thought so to, but alas, no one seemed to know anything," Albus explained. "Nor do we know if did he it by himself or had help. "

"You suspects kidnapping? I mean isn't impossible portkey or apparate on a moving vehicle?"

"I thought so too. I have no information on anyone suspicious either embarking or disembarking the train," Dumbledore admitted with a shrug. "Nor did anyone see anyone suspicious from what I know."

"Hmmm.... Quite amystery you have there," Amelia commented.

"Yes, but I think kidnapping, while it's possible, I don't think it was that, that happened."

"I don't think so either, with how the Prophet and especially Rita Skeeter seem be on his side lately. Though I have no idea how he accomplished that."

"From his willingness to give interviews to her, it seems they have come to some understanding," Dumbledore opined. "I do believe it was he or one of his friends who gave Rita the idea of writing that article about the Black case."

"It was a slightly disturbing story," Amelia agreed. "Especially how she accused that some had been using the system to control him. That does bring up another thing I wanted to discuss. Why was what happening at Hogwarts never reported to the Ministry? Especially the Basilisk. According to records, you only acknowledge it as ancient magic that caused the petrification two years ago."

"I did not want to instil panic with the parents and also it would have brought people wishing to see the Chamber to the school," Dumbledore explained. "There is only one person who can open the Chamber and that is Mr. Potter since it requires being a Parselmouth. Would you have required him to return to the chamber just to satisfy the Ministry's curiosity?"

"I see your point," Amelia replied. "What about now the story has broken, are people wanting to see it?"

"Of course, but again only Mr. Potter can open the Chamber so it isn't something I can accommodate," Dumbledore replied.

"Any theories on he could be hiding?" Bones asked. "Or are you going to wait until September first, and hope he will return then?"

"I do not know Amelia," Albus replied truthfully. "It is possible that he won't return at all."

That answer took the head of the Magical Law Enforcement by surprise. "Why would you say that?Aren't wouldn't he obligated coming back to school? Unless it's akidnapping, of course, but we both doubted that."

Dumbledore thought of that had happened during the previous year. Though he felt that he handled the most of it better, he still thought of the mistakes he had made when it came to the young man. "He emancipated himself, and he have even managed take his O.W.L.s. Since are no laws against taking one O.WL.s early and as you aware of the N.E.W.T.s are completely voluntary. Meaning his is now legally an adult, without any further educational obligation," Dumbledore said after he finally suppressed the regrets. "So I don't know if he will return to Hogwarts after summer. After what has transpired this year he surely must be thinking of disappearing, and I don't blame him."

"We'll provide as much protection as possible, if that's his concern," Bones stated.

"I truly don't think he will be concerned for himself, though for his friends it might be a different matter," Dumbledore answered."No, I do not think that will be the deciding factor in this case, it is more likely some injustices he is thinking of. You have to admit, the young man has suffered much. The Minister ignored him last year about Sirius and again after the tournament. The matter with press didn't help either."

"I know, but what can we do."

"I would advise for a fair trial of Sirius Black, would be the first step. In my opinion it's long overdue that he should get one."

Amelia thought on that for a few seconds. "I agree, but we have know idea where Black is."

"If you arrange the trial, I will handle Black. While do not know where he's at. I do know how to contact him. In exchange for safe passage to Courtroom."

"Agreed, I'll suggest that to Fudge as well," Amelia made a quick note on a parchment. "Do you think Potter would show up for the trial?And do you think it would influence him in returning to Hogwarts?"

"I do not know if he'll return for any trial, though I think an appeal to his might help. They understand the importance of the matter. And have feeling they know a lot more the they are telling. As for influencing him returning to Hogwarts, Idon't know."

"Those are not promising signs," Bones said as a sigh escaped her lips. "I feel it would be disastrous if he didn't return," She admitted as she thought of the ramifications if they should stay hidden. "If word got out that Potter might be gone for good, we'd have a serious problem," Amelia shook her head at the thought before continuing. "We'd have riots and the people would be so demoralized You-Know-Who could just waltz in and take over without a fight."

"That I know," Albus replied. "And it's more serious than that," He continued to himself as he thought of the prophecy. "We can hope they make the right decision."

"Right for whom though?" Bones asked.

"For all concerned."

Amelia took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "Does Potter know what he means to the people?"

"Possibly. Though I should warn you that Harry does not care for all the attention and pushing him into such a role might be detrimental."

Amelia nodded. "I understand, but attention he'll get no matter what. Hopefully some of friends can help him understand that.

"If you could get a trial for Sirius, it would be a start. And would also give me a reason to talk his friends and maybe get an idea where he's at. I can also ask them if they found out anything new. If I can get them to trust me more. I think I can get them to open up a little regarding Mr. Potter situation."

"I'll see to it as soon as possible," Amelia promised. "What if they have decide against it?"

"Then I will do my best to convince them otherwise," Dumbledore assured her. "If it comes to that, it shall be a lively debate."

"I haven't known you to fail in many of those," Amelia remarked.

"You haven't argued with them before. They are very protective of each other."

"Again you would know better. Now have perviously you mentioned your Defence class. Who will be teaching it this year? Mad-Eye?"

"No, after almost a year locked up in that trunk, he's taking the fight very personal," Dumbledore replied with a sigh. "I'm still searching for someone to handle the class but it gets more and more difficult every year."

Amelia stared at the Hogwarts Headmaster for a few seconds before looking down at her desk and finding a piece of parchment. "Speaking of your instructors, Ineed to ask you about Severus Snape."

The kind grandfatherly look on Dumbledore's face disappeared instantly as his gaze sharpened. It was three seconds before he replied. "Understand Amelia that Severus has my utmost confidence."

"He is a Death Eater who responded to the call of You-Know-Who that night," Amelia said undeterred.

"I am very much aware of that," Dumbledore replied evenly.

"And you still trust him?"

"With my life Amelia. Severus went there on my request."

"Your..." Amelia started as her eyes widened but stopped as she glared at Dumbledore. "You plan on him spying for you again?" She immediately put the pieces together. "That means you have your Order going again doesn't it?"

"Amelia, I know of your opinions of the Order of the Phoenix, but they are clouded by the death of your brother."

A look of sadness crept into the eyes of the head of the Department of Law Enforcement. "Not just Edgar, they killed his wife and kids as well you know. All because of that damn club of yours."

"And what of the numerous people he saved? Amelia, you know the Ministry and even your own department is filled with Voldemort supporters. I have much to offer the fight, but I can not do it through the Ministry."

"You say the Ministry is filled with sympathizers and you have a marked Death Eater?" Amelia asked as her voice rose in volume. "If Snape is on your side then why didn't You-Know-Who kill him when he showed up that night? It's in the records you said he was working for you."

"Severus can be...most convincing," Albus answered. "But that is all I will say."

Amelia bit the inside of her cheek to choke off a retort, finally she said. "I will be watching him closely and I don't mean just because he is aDeath Eater. I spoke to my niece about him and it seems he is creating an atmosphere in your castle that is conducive to further Death Eater recruitment."

"I will not discuss my choice of instructors nor their methods Amelia," Dumbledore replied with a stern tone. "That is not under the purview of the Ministry, especially the DMLE. If there is something specific you have concerning Severus, I'll be glad to discuss it with you otherwise I bid you drop this inquiry."

"You'll be the second to know WHEN I do have something on the man Albus," Amelia said in a firm voice. "Until I AM satisfied the man is not aiding You-Know-Who I will treat him as any other identified Death Eater. Do I make myself clear?"

The two of them stared at each other for several seconds. Finally Dumbledore said."Amelia, again I must stress that Severus has my deepest trust in these matters."

"That's your business Albus, not mine. To me he is a Death Eater until it is proven otherwise and as for your Phoenix organization, I know from history you probably have some of my Aurors as members, but if I find they are slacking on their duties to support you I will discipline them, am Iunderstood?"

"Perfectly Amelia."



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