Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Black Vengeance - 1

Of Many Meetings

by maidros 5 reviews

The DA meeting, and a meeting of the Hogwarts faculty

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure - Characters: Cho, Dumbledore, Harry, Hermione, Professor McGonagall, Snape, Theodore Nott - Published: 2007-02-06 - Updated: 2007-02-06 - 2618 words

Black Vengeance - 5

Of Many Meetings

The last day of the term dawned clear and sunny, and after the stormy night, the glorious sunshine was particularly pleasant. After an restless night, Harry came down to the breakfast table. A quick breakfast later, Harry and Hermione left to visited Nott in the infirmary, where the school Healer Mme. Pomfrey wanted to complete one last check on the Slytherin before pronouncing him restored. The Gryffindor duo learnt from them the attack by Malfoy. Nott had urged Harry to do nothing about it while in school - very few people, both Slytherins and others - knew the truth and Nott would rather that it was kept that way. He knew the loss of face he and Harry's cause would suffer if the truth were to become public. Harry had grudgingly agreed to his request, and they were discussing the success of Nott's efforts in recruiting Slytherins. At that moment, the infirmary door opened, and Cho Chang, and Susan Bones appeared. Harry bade them be seated, and quietly spoke, "I asked you two here before the meeting because there are a few things we need discuss. Also, this is the only place in the castle where we can meet without raising suspicions. But first, will you two give me your word of honour that you will not repeat this information to anyone?"

Cho, and Susan exchanged glances, but both girls assented. "Very well, then. Susan, I must ask you how many of your House mates are willing to attend the DA over summer."

Susan handed over a list to Harry, and craning over his shoulder, the others read the names of the Hufflepuffs who had signed up. The list read:
Justin Finch-Fletchley, Wayne Hopkins, Ernie MacMillan, Stephen Cornfoot, Hannah Abbott, Susan Bones, Megan Jones, Lillith Moon

Cho produced a list, which read
Anthony Goldstein, Michael Corner, Terry Boot, Kevin Entwhistle, Cho Chang, Morag MacDougal, Lisa Turpin, Padma Patil, Mandy Brocklehurst, Luna Lovegood.

Finally, Nott gave Harry the Slytherin list:
Theodore Nott, Terrence Higgs, Daphne Greengrass, Millicent Bulstrode, Tracey Davis.

Harry nodded, "Now, Hermione, show them the Gryffindor list."

Hermione produced a parchment from her robes, and the others read:
Harry Potter, Ronald Weasley, Dean Thomas, Neville Longbottom, Seamus Finnigan, Hermione Granger, Lavender Brown, Parvati Patil, Katie Bell, Ginny Weasley

Harry continued, "Now, I am sure you want to know why I asked you here. Hermione and I have been having a few serious discussions, and we want you all to understand what is at stake. Voldemort wants me dead, and he is not going to stop until he or I is dead."

Cho broke in, "Why does You-Know-Who want you dead?"

"The full story is pretty long and we can go into it another time. But, briefly, there is a prophecy that says that only I can kill him."

Susan gasped, Nott frowned, Cho looked horrified, and there was a moment of total silence. Nott spoke, "Was this the prophecy the Dark Lord's followers were after in the Department of Mysteries?"

Harry nodded, as Nott continued, "But that prophecy was destroyed .."

Harry cut in, "What was destroyed was the record of the prophecy. The prophecy was made before Dumbledore and he knows the full prophecy. He told me of it."

There was another shocked silence. Cho broke the silence, "The prophecy is the reason You-Know-Who wanted you dead fifteen years ago?"

Once more, Harry assented and continued, "As long as Voldemort is free and killing, no one is safe. He might even invade Hogwarts, if he feels strong enough. So we need to train to defend ourselves and this summer is the perfect time. But I didn't ask you all here to join the DA. I am asking you to help me lead it. But it is going to be very dangerous; so, if any of you want to opt out, I am not going to blame you."

There was a moment's absolute silence, and then all of them agreed to help Harry and gave their word that they would not betray him. Satisfied, Harry proceeded, "The first problem is where we can train without the Ministry or the Order barging in on us. Theodore, Hermione and I have been discussing this over the last two days. Theodore, would you like to tell them?"

Nott took up the story, "There is an old Nott mansion that has not been used in more than fifty years. With just my parents and me left, it was deemed a waste of energy to maintain such a huge place, so we moved to a smaller place near London. However, the old manor has superb defences, and wards, so we decided that it would be the best place for all of us to work. Even the Dark Lord would be hard put to it to breach its defences. I know a man who will put the place under a Fidelius Charm. That should be sufficient to secure it."

"Who will be the secret keeper?", queried Hermione.

"Me", answered Harry.

"When do we start?", inquired Susan.

"Well, it would be a good idea for all students to get back to their families for at least a couple of weeks. That should give us time to get the place ready."

"Okay. Now to decide how we will communicate. I suspect that owls to me are being intercepted. So we'll give ourselves away if we use owls. Hermione has found a solution to the problem - would you like to tell them, Hermione?"

Hermione opened her schoolbag and brought out five journals. "All these journals have been charmed so that we can contact any of the others who have them. I have added all possible protections I could think of. Just drip three drops of your blood on the cover page and the journals will be keyed to you and no one else will be able to use it. When you need to contact anyone, tap the book with your wand and write the name of the person you wish to contact. What you write in your journal will appear verbatim in the journal of the one you are trying to communicate with. And their answers will appear in your book. When you are finished, just tap the book again with your wand and say 'complete'. That should clear the book."

"But isn't blood magic illegal?", frowned Susan.

"Not this spell", returned Hermione. "This is the same spell that is used in the rings worn by Heads of Houses, to prevent forgery."

Harry continued, "You four will be responsible for your respective Houses. In today's meeting, I'll tell the others that all DA related information is to be sent to you four. You'll tell me anything I need to know using these journals. I want the existence of these journals kept secret. No one is to owl me anything about the DA. Hopefully, this will mislead anyone trying to keep tabs on me. Now, do any of you know anything about Tracking charms?"

Cho answered, "I know a bit about them - we routinely check our owls for them to prevent mum's clients from being compromised."

"Great! Can you check if there are any Tracking charms on any of us?"

"Who would put Tracking charms on us?"

"Where do I start? Voldemort! Death Eaters! Dumbledore! The list is long, Cho"

Cho pursed her lips, but performed the spells on herself and the others. She spoke, "There are none that I can detect at least."

Harry frowned, "Are you sure?"

"Almost. There maybe blood based Tracking charms, but those I would not know how to detect, much less remove."

"Any way of getting around those charms?"

"Well, all blood based Tracking charms attune to the magic in your blood to detect you, so if you are under magic suppression or obfuscation wards, you cannot be detected."

"Magic suppression, eh! That is an idea", muttered Harry looking into the distance. He shook himself out of his reverie, and spoke, "Thanks, Cho! Can you come over to the owlery with me and we can check if my owl has any Tracking charms on her?"

Cho consented, and Harry added, "Okay, then, we will meet in the Room of Requirement in an hour."

Mme. Pomfrey performed a quick check on Nott, assured herself that Nott was alright, and released him. Harry and Cho went up to the owlery, while Hermione, Theodore and Susan went down to their dormitories to ensure that they had packed everything. Harry called Hedwig, and Cho performed several spells, checking the owl. Suddenly, Cho's jaw dropped and she gasped. Harry quickly questioned, "What is it, Cho?"

"I-I don't understand. There is some kind of Confundus charm on her. Also an advanced Tracking charm."

"Confundus charm? What kind and what does it do?"

"I cannot say exactly, Harry. From what I can fathom, it is some kind of a redirecting confundus charm. I would say that your owl would likely go to some one person, no matter who you sent your letters to. Also, there is a very advanced Tracking charm on her."

Harry's eyes blazed and he ground his teeth, biting out, "Umbitch!"

Cho shrugged, unconvinced, "Maybe."

"Can you remove the charms?"

"I can remove the Tracking charm. I wouldn't dare remove the /confundus/."

"Why not?"

"It might permanently damage her if we don't know the exact spell used. If I were you, I would take her to Magical Menagerie in Diagon Alley to get it removed - there is an owl healer there, and she should be able to get rid of it. Barring that, you could go to Lazarus Healing Centre for Magical Creatures. They should be able to help you as well."

Harry thoughtfully nodded, "Thank you, Cho. Go down to the DA meeting. I will join you in a few minutes."

As Cho left, Harry sped down to the kitchens. He called Dobby, and spoke to the excitable elf for a minute or so, explaining his requirements. The little creature was brimming with joy at being able to help Harry, and promised to perform the task the young wizard had set him.

In the Room of Requirement, Harry Potter was addressing a gathering of an assortment of fifth and sixth year students. He spoke of the aims of the DA over summer, of the danger that now menaced all of them with the return of Voldemort. He told them that arrangements for the training were being made and that they would all meet in two weeks in the Leaky Cauldron. Further, he cautioned them not to owl him with any DA related material. Any information they needed to transmit or receive was to be sent to their respective House coordinators, Hermione Granger for Gryffindor, Cho Chang for Ravenclaw, Susan Bones for Hufflepuff, and Theodore Nott for Slytherin. He impressed upon them the need for secrecy and discipline. To finish off, he wished them all a happy holiday and dismissed them.

Most of the half bloods, and the muggleborn students were quite happy to band into a group to find some protection from the depredations of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and that they were being trained by the Boy-Who-Lived was the major attraction. Of course, there were some who had, through their parents, managed to learn about the previous war and were uncomfortably aware that neutrality might not be an option for long - the Dark Lord had a habit of dragging everyone into a war, whether they liked it or not. As far as they were concerned, Harry Potter was the best choice, if for no other reason than that he had been consistently successful against He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Whether this was due to good guidance, planning or fortune was immaterial.

While the students were holding a conference on DA activities, the Headmaster was holding a meeting in his office with Prof. McGonagall and Prof. Snape. With the two professors seated before him, the headmaster began, "I have called you two because I have just received some distressing news. Voldemort has been very busy last night. Minerva, you or I will have to break the news to young Mr. Longbottom. His family was attacked by Death Eaters last night."

Prof. McGonagall gasped, "Albus, are they safe?"

The Headmaster shook his head sadly, "I am afraid not. The entire family has been wiped out. Augusta, Algernon, and Enid are all dead, which leaves poor Mr. Longbottom as the last survivor of his house."

"Albus, then the information I got was true! Oh, was anything done to safeguard them?"

Dumbledore spoke slowly, "I am afraid I don't know. I passed on your warning to Magical Law Enforcement, but in these times, suspicions might not be enough to warrant extra protection. The Order has been stretched thin, as you know, and with many of our members in or just out of St. Mungo, I could not order any of our people to provide the security. Severus, is Voldemort planning any more assaults?"

Snape returned, "I wouldn't know, headmaster. The Dark Lord has become extremely wary after the debacle in the Department of Mysteries. He does not trust anyone anymore."

Dumbledore looked older. He sighed, "I am afraid the attack on the Longbottoms is not all. He also attacked the Bones family, and Amelia, Abraxas and Brigitta are all dead as well. I will shortly be sending for Pomona - we need to inform Ms. Bones - she is the last of the Bones, I believe."

Prof. McGonagall looked on the verge of crying, while Snape manifested no outward reaction - he looked sour as ever, while Dumbledore continued, "Curiously, there was also an attack on the Grangers."

"Albus! Is it your intention to give me the disaster piecemeal?!"

"Calm yourself, Minerva. No harm has been done. The Grangers were protected by three unknown allies."

Prof. McGonagall's mouth fell open, "Who .."

"Ah! That is the question. We don't know anything about them, except that they were not Order members, nor does it appear likely they were Aurors. Whoever these unknown saviours, pity is not one of their characteristics. Marcus Flint and the four other Death Eaters who attacked the Grangers were killed by these people, and three of the dead Death Eaters were slain by the killing curse."

"Albus, did you not arrange any protection for Ms. Granger's parents?"

Dumbledore sighed, "I am afraid not. I would have done it at the end of the term - I did not believe the danger to be so imminent. It appears that I was grievously mistaken."

McGonagall sighed. Dumbledore could be so obstinate in his ideas at times. However, in this instance, no harm had been done, even if assistance had come from an unknown source.

Tentatively, she spoke, "Should we question Ms. Granger if she knows who those allies are?"

"That may be a good idea, Minerva. Will you do it?"

She acquiesced, and Dumbledore finished, "Well, Minerva, speak to Mr. Longbottom and Ms. Granger. I will have a talk with Pomona, and have her break the news to Ms. Bones."

Prof. McGonagall left. Dumbledore smiled at Snape. "Our plan progresses nicely, Severus, but for this unknown element. Try to find out if Tom knows who they are." Snape nodded.

"Before you leave, Severus, have you managed to find out who attacked Mr. Nott?"

Snape returned, "Preliminary inquiries indicate that Mr. Malfoy was trying to coerce Mr. Nott into joining the ranks of the Dark Lord. It would seem Mr. Nott was reluctant to comply immediately. This enraged Mr. Malfoy and his friends, and the argument degenerated into a brawl, where Mr. Nott sustained some injuries."

"Keep an eye on Mr. Nott, Severus. Maybe we can make use of this boy in future."
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