Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Black Vengeance

Of Order Meetings and Nightmares

by maidros 20 reviews

The Order of the Phoenix meets, and discusses the present situation. In the meantime, Harry has a strange nightmare.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure - Characters: Arthur Weasley, Bellatrix, Bill Weasley, Draco, Dumbledore, Harry, Kingsley, Moody, Narcissa, Professor McGonagall - Published: 2007-02-18 - Updated: 2007-02-19 - 2700 words

Black Vengeance - 8

Of Order Meetings and Nightmares

(Author's note: I would like to thank JBern for his gracious permission to use his idea in using the inferi to breach wards. I strongly recommend his story, `To Fight the Coming Darkness', which is very novel, balanced, fast paced and has an interesting ship.

Secondly, I have been receiving quite a few mails asking me to reconsider the ship, especially on the plea that Harry/Hermione is overdone. It is true that Harry/Hermione is very common, but I would like to leave the ship to my readers. I will need to begin on the ship in Chapter 11, so I will leave the poll open one more week. If any of you want to specify your preferences for the ship, please do so within that time - this is the last chance. Votes will be counted in the same fashion as the previous time.)

While Harry had been conversing with Hermione, the Order of the Phoenix was meeting in the erstwhile home of Sirius Black. Albus Dumbledore stood up to address the group huddled around a large round oaken table. "Is everyone here tonight?"

"Nymphadora Tonks is guarding Harry. I don't see Emmeline Vance, but all others are here", returned Moody in his gravel like voice.

"Excellent! I have called you all here because of the recent successful strikes of Tom, and the recent situation that has arisen after the death of Sirius. But first, I must ask all of you to stand up and raise your goblets to the memory of a brave and honourable man, who should be sitting here with us." Dumbledore spoke, pointedly looking at Snape. With an ill-disguised bitterness, Severus Snape rose and picked up his goblet. "Sirius Black!" chorused everyone, downing the drinks. Dumbledore continued, "Sirius Black was a man who, despite his adversity, and his tragic life, was a brave warrior for the Light. His courage and fortitude in face of being accused of a crime he was not guilty of and his nobility in not becoming embittered because of it should be a model for us all."

All the assembled observed a minute's silence for Sirius Black, and then Dumbledore's voice brought them to the present. "Let us now proceed with our business. Kingsley, what have you to report about the deaths of the Longbottom and the Bones families?"

At this moment, the door opened, and Emmeline Vance, still dressed in her hospital uniform and her ward scarf, hurried in. "Sorry, folks. I was detained by a couple of urgent cases. I just got away. What have I missed?"

"Not much, Emmeline. We were just about to discuss the Longbottom and Bones murders. Not many clues to go on.", answered Arthur Weasley.

"The Longbottom murders! What on earth happened?", gasped Emmeline.

"Good heavens! It has been on the Wizarding Wireless all day and in the Evening Prophet also. What world have you been in?"

"I've been very busy all day, Arthur. The Longbottoms were murdered, you say?", she inquired.

"They have been wiped out."

"Curious coincidence", she muttered.

"What did you say, Emmeline", cut in Dumbledore sharply.

"I just discovered something strange about the Longbottoms today, and they have been attacked and killed", she frowned. Then she added, "But go on - who was killed and how?"

Kingsley began in his slow, deep voice, "It was an exceptionally brutal set of murders. The wards outside were breached by wizards, and then werewolves seem to have been used to attack, for both Augusta and Enid were completely torn to ribbons. Algernon was found dead outside the home - he seems to have tried to escape, and fallen to a killing curse outside. Inside, however, even the house elves perished gruesomely. We have issued a detain-and-question alert for the infamous werewolf, Fenrir Greyback. We hope he is going to be apprehended soon. There were no other leads there."

"Now what have you discovered, Emmeline?", questioned Dumbledore.

"I found out that Frank and Alice Longbottoms' condition has been kept completely off the files at St. Mungo. There are no documents of the diagnoses or the treatments followed, nor do the apprentice healers know anything about their conditions."

"That is not particularly surprising, Emmeline", murmured Dumbledore. "In the aftermath of the attack, we did not want to disclose how badly Frank and Alice were impaired. We all hoped they would recover. Augusta particularly wanted to make sure that no one found out what had happened to them. I guess the orders were never rescinded", mused Dumbledore.

Kingsley continued, "In the case of the Bones family, it appears that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named used a bunch of inferi to break the wards around the Bones mansion, and then assaulted Amelia, her brother and her sister-in-law. Also killed at the same time in the Bones Manor was Amelia's secretary, Eileen Bell. All evidence indicates that Amelia, at the very least, put up a stiff resistance. Whether any of the attackers were killed is unknown as none of them, apart from the inferi were found at the Bones Mansion. Judging from the magical residue in the area, the spells that seem to have been exchanged leads me to believe that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named himself was there. No other clues have been turned up."

"Were there any aurors to guard Amelia, or the Longbottoms?", queried McGonagall.

"I have not heard of it, Minerva", returned Kingsley.

"Very well, in that case, Arthur, can you please let us know the situation in the Ministry", asked Dumbledore.

Arthur began in his soft voice, "Fudge's leadership is being questioned by everyone and he is facing an open revolt. The deaths of the Longbottoms could not have come at a worse time for him. He was still being hauled over the coals for his stupidity in ignoring You-Know-Who's return. There is talk that there is going to be a no-confidence motion against Fudge early next week. If there were to be one, it is all but certain that Fudge will be ousted."

"Any idea who will be moving a no-confidence motion", questioned Bill Weasley.

"Amos Diggory very likely will. He still has not forgiven Fudge his son's death and the mess afterward."

"If Fudge were removed, who will become the next minister?", asked Hestia Jones.

"Ah!", smiled Dumbledore. "That is the problem. The tradition is that the head of Magical Law Enforcement would be the acting minister until the next one is elected. With no head of MLE, it will be likely held by the next in line in MLE."

"Who would that be?", queried Doge.

"Well, there are three people who could succeed Amelia. First is the chief auror - Rufus Scrimgeour; second - head of hit wizards, Gawain Robards, and finally, the chief investigator of magical crime in Britain - our own Kingsley Shacklebolt."

There were shouts of "Kingsley, that's great.", as Dumbledore continued, "One of these three people will have to take over as the interim Minister, until there is an election for the new Minister."

"Who is likely .."

"Well, technically it is the Minister who appoints the Heads of the Departments, with the Wizengamot having to ratify his decisions. I seriously doubt Fudge will have either the time or the inclination to appoint a new head of MLE, or even that any of his decisions will be welcome in the Wizengamot. So, it is likely that the Wizengamot will have to jump in and appoint a new head of MLE and consequently, interim Minister."

"Should we canvass for Kingsley in the Wizengamot?", queried Emmeline.

"I think that would be an excellent idea. I will be doing it myself, and I could use any help any of you can come up with.", returned Dumbledore.

"Severus, is Voldemort up to anything now? Is he specifically backing anyone for Minister?"

"No, Headmaster. All three are unacceptable to him. He will likely fight the new Minister on specific laws in the Wizengamot."

"About the murders of the Bones, and the Longbottoms ..."

"Nothing has been discussed. He is still unsure whom to trust."

"How long would it take to oust Fudge", questioned Bill.

"Well, if the no-confidence motion is tabled on Monday, we will need to give him a week to prepare his defence. After that, it should be done in another two to three days. By next weekend, we should be rid of Fudge, and one more week after that, we should have a new interim Minister."

Dumbledore cleared his throat. "From next meeting on, we shall be meeting at Hogwarts - at least for the summer. This place may no longer be safe", announced Dumbledore.

"What? Why?!", came a dozen voices.

"Since the death of Sirius, we have not been able to determine who the new owner is. Alastor and I tested the wards here today, and found them in perfect condition. It is therefore likely that Sirius' heir is either Remus or Harry. But, it is still best not to tempt the Fates, since the heir could also be either Narcissa or Bellatrix."

Dumbledore persisted speaking, "Very well. That brings us to the last point of tonight's agenda. Since both Neville Lonbottom and Susan Bones are the last surviving members of their families, there is no one to care for them, I am afraid. Also, it may not be safe for them outside. They will both be of age in a few months, but until then, they need to be protected and advised. I will be inviting them here to the headquarters. It will be much safer for them here. One of us will have to stay here at all times with them."

"Albus, would it not be better for Mr. Potter to be here as well? He took Sirius' death very badly - I am not sure leaving him alone with his uncle and aunt is a good idea.", remarked McGonagall.

"I am afraid it is impossible at the moment, Minerva. He needs to be there to ensure that the wards are recharged. He should be rejoining us in around four weeks."

"Very well, when will you be inviting Mr. Longbottom and Ms. Bones?"

"I intend to go right away and speak to them."

"Good! I will come down with you to meet Mr. Longbottom - I need to speak to him about his parents.", commented Emmeline Vance.

"I think that concludes our meeting for tonight. We will meet after the weekend."

Motioning to Emmeline to wait, Dumbledore waited patiently until all the others had left Grimmauld Place. He cast a couple of privacy wards, ensuring that they were alone, and unnoticed by others, and then began, "Emmeline, can this not wait? The poor boy has just lost his family. Why don't you give him a couple of weeks?"

"Albus, his parents' real condition is unknown to everyone as of now. I need to determine the diagnosis made and the treatment given to them before I can handle their case. Further, if he doesn't know, it is my duty to keep him apprised of the situation." She rose to her feet and turned toward the door, her back to Dumbledore.

"Very well, Emmeline", Dumbledore sighed wearily. He pointed his wand at her back, and said sharply, "Obliviate!".

Harry Potter lay in bed asleep, tossing and turning, as his nightmares had chosen to revisit him that night. This was not so unusual an occurrence - Harry rarely had had a calm night since the death of Sirius, but usually his nightmares had Sirius, Cedric, or his parents dying or unpleasant things happening to his close friends. Tonight's nightmare was unusual, even by his standards. He saw Voldemort standing in front of a large Victorian mansion atop a wide grassy knoll. Voldemort spoke in a high, cold voice, "Are your sister and nephew ready, Bella?"

A tall, dark haired witch at his side, whom Harry just noticed, spoke submissively, "Yes, Master. They are awaiting you." Hatred rushed through Harry's veins as he recognised Bellatrix - Sirius' killer! His emotions threatened to consume him; however, it seemed that his nightmare had a volition of its own and cared little for his feelings. "Let us go in", remarked Voldemort.

Another man, tall, burly and blond knocked on the door sharply. It was immediately opened and a house elf ushered the three into a dimly lit drawing room. Two people, likely mother and son judging from the similarity of appearance, immediately knelt before Voldemort. Harry recognised at once the pale, pointed face and the blond hair - Draco Malfoy! The other must be his mother. The witch kissed the hem of Voldemort's robes, and spoke in a soft voice, "We welcome you, my Lord, to our humble abode. How may we be of service?"

"Thank you, Lady Malfoy", returned Voldemort in his icy voice. "But it is your son who can be of use to me."

Draco spoke in a low voice, still on his knees, and head bent, "I am honoured, my Lord."

"It is excellent to see that Lucius trained you so well in obedience, and that you are so eager to serve me.", purred Voldemort. "I expect better competence than your father has hitherto displayed."

Draco flushed, but replied in the same mild voice, "I will do all I can, Master."

"Very well. You will take my mark right away, and I have a special task for you", murmured Voldemort silkily.

"But, my Lord ..", interrupted the witch from her submissive posture on the ground.

"Silence!", snarled Voldemort, and the witch paled. Turning to Malfoy, he commanded, "Draco, roll up the left sleeve of your robe."

"Master, please ..", besought the witch on the floor in a piteous voice.

"Be quiet", rasped Voldemort, pointing his wand at the witch. Narcissa looked appealingly at her sister, but Bellatrix looked away.

Voldemort walked towards the place Draco knelt. "Your arm!" Draco held up his left arm. Gripping the proferred arm tightly in his left hand, Voldemort placed the tip of his wand on the forearm, and muttered a spell. Draco screamed and howled in pain as the skin in contact with the wand burnt black. A few moments later, the pain diminished, and Draco all but fell to the floor. "Tsk! Tsk! Young warrior, you have a lot to learn, not the least of which is tolerance of pain. Your first task will be to kill Dumbledore."

Narcissa shrieked in dismay, "My Lord, I implore you .."

Voldemort's patience was at an end. "Crucio", he snarled, pointing his wand at Lady Malfoy. Narcissa screamed and writhed on the ground. Ten seconds later, Voldemort lifted his wand, and the witch's struggles subsided. "Bellatrix, remove your sister", ordered Voldemort. Looking at Narcissa, "It is fortunate for you that I am merciful tonight. After Lucius' bungling, you deserve far worse punishment. Do you understand, Narcissa?"

"Yes, Master", she whimpered. He watched impassively as Bellatrix helped her sister to her feet and led her out the door. "Bella ...", began Narcissa. "Be quiet, and learn to obey!", growled Bellatrix at her sister.

Once the two women had disappeared, the Dark Lord spoke, "I shall expect you tomorrow morning at my headquarters. Your aunt, Bellatrix, will bring you with her and will inform you of the details then. Succeed, and you will have honour and riches beyond the dreams of mortals! If you fail - well, rest assured that any failure will be repaid with pain of the sort that will make you beg for death. Do you understand?"

"Yes, Master", replied Draco dully.

"Good! You will not speak of this to anyone. And as a reminder of how I treat failure - Crucio", Voldemort murmured silkily.

Draco screamed and with him, Harry screamed in his bed, grabbing his scar. The pain was intolerable, and suddenly, Harry was jolted out of his nightmare. Shuddering, Harry woke up, and tried to get to his feet. In his haste, he stumbled and knocked his knee painfully against the bed frame. The physical pain seemed to help him overcome the pain he had just experienced in his nightmare. He remembered Hermione's injunctions - write down any dreams of Voldemort, as soon as you can. Grabbing a quill and a piece of parchment, he began to scribble down as much of his dream before the details went out of his mind.
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