With Open Arms
These characters and the world in which they live, are not my own, but the work of the brilliant J.K. Rowling, I am only borrowing them, for she created them and they are hers.
This is my first fanfic. It begins right after Dumbledore's murder. I don't know how to link a feedback form, so if you read it, please send me an owl and let me know what you think! Thanks so much and I hope you enjoy!
Gazing out the window of his dormitory, Harry contemplated all he had lost. His parents, ripped from his life at such a young age. His godfather, taken from him after only two years of a relationship, and now, Dumbledore was gone too. The one man who Harry never expected to lose, was gone. Killed. By a teacher, a trusted Order member. Backstabbing git. Harry was angry. The anger coursing through him caused him to remember the night he lost Sirius. Bellatrix had taunted him less than a year ago that he couldn’t perform a proper Cruciatus Curse. She told him he had to really mean it, really want to cause pain. Well, sitting by the window tonight, reliving all his past hurt and pain, he thought he could perform a gruesome curse. One day, Voldemort, Snape, Bellatrix, and all the other Death Eaters will pay for the wrongs they have done. I will personally see to it. Gritting his teeth, he finally layed down to search for much needed sleep. Tomorrow he would be leaving Hogwarts, and possibly never coming back. McGonagall was still deciding about reopening the school, the school governors hadn’t reached an agreement yet. Harry figured it would take a while before a final decision was made. Only time would give the answer.
Leaving Hogwarts, it wasn’t something he normally looked forward to it, and looking forward wasn’t the right phrase this time, although he wasn’t dreading it like he normally did. Ron and Hermione, his best friends, were going to be with him this time. They were coming to the Dursley’s with him. The trio wasn’t planning on staying long, probably a little over a week. Harry wouldn’t even go back except he promised Dumbledore he would return one last summer, one last time. After that, he would be on his own, without special protection from the greatest wizard to ever walk the earth. He wasn’t dreading the Dursley’s, but looking forward to being done with them forever. It would be interesting to have Ron and Hermione there, hopefully the Dursley’s would just ignore all three of them. The pair of them were now of age, so they can use magic any time. It would be fun to see Uncle Vernon’s face when Ron came in levitating his trunk. The thought made Harry smile. Rolling over, drinking a dreamless sleep potion, Harry closed his eyes and rest found him.
“Harry! Come on mate, it’s time to go!” Ron was tugging on Harry’s sleeve, impatience apparent on his face.
“Huh? What time is it?” Harry rubbed his eyes and reached over for his glasses.
“The train is leaving in 20 minutes! Let’s go!” Harry bolted at this comment, throwing on some jeans and a tee shirt. Luckily he packed his trunk the night before. After hurriedly slipping his feet into his trainers, he grabbed his trunk and headed to the common room. Stopping short, he saw her. He hadn’t spoken to her since the funeral, but there she was. Standing with Hermione and looking tired. She looked like she hadn’t slept. Her hair was pulled into a pony tail and her face puffy but pail. She had been crying. Harry knew it and it pained him to think he had caused her pain. He was trying to save her from danger, keep her alive. Voldemort would use her, he already had! Harry loved her too much to lead her into danger, he couldn’t do it. She needed to be here, at Hogwarts, assuming it opened. She needed to live her life and prepare her future. Harry was determined to give her a future, even if he wasn’t in it.
“OK, I’m here. Let’s get on with it,” Harry avoided her eyes, and led the four of them out the portrait hole. Taking one last glance at Gryffindor common room, the only home he had ever loved, he pulled himself through and left to fight the fight that would change his life forever.
Harry, Ron and Hermione had been at Number 4, Privet Drive for 4 days when the owl arrived. They recognized it as a Hogwarts owl, but even if the school was reopening, it was too early in the holidays to receive a book list. Taking the letter, Harry was surprised to see it was addressed not only to him.
Mr. Harry Potter, Mr. Ronald Weasley, and Miss Hermione Granger
Number 4 Privet Drive
The Smallest Bedroom
“It’s for all three of us. How did they know Aunt Petunia wouldn’t let Hermione sleep in the guest room?” Confusion and curiosity took over and he ripped into the letter, reading it aloud to the others.
Dear Harry, Ron, and Hermione,
I hope this finds you in good health, enjoying your holidays. We are holding a meeting of the Order of the Phoenix at headquarters this Friday evening. We request your presence at said meeting. No need to respond, but hope to see you there.
All the best,
“Minerva? Since when do we call her that?” Ron snorted and Hermione looked puzzled. “Why are we invited? Mum was adamant we not know anything about the Order.”
“Well, that was before you were of age, and before Harry became Dumbledore’s confidant,” Hermione pointed out matter of factly. “I bet they want to talk with us about the battle at Hogwarts and talk with Harry about what he was doing with Dumbledore the night he died.” This made them quiet for a moment. Harry broke the silence.
“So, we going?” The others nodded. “Actually, since this has come up, I think we need to make a decision. I promised Dumbledore I wouldn’t tell anyone about the horcruxes, but after giving it a lot of thought, I think I’m going to need the help of the Order on this one.” Ron and Hermione couldn’t find the surprise on their faces.
“I agree Harry, I just never thought you would see it that way,” Hermione spoke softly, almost as if she was scared to see his reaction.
“I know, I’m normally more stubborn than that,” all three laughed and then got back down to business. “Seriously though, they need to know. Dumbledore never actually told me how to destroy a horcrux, so I thought Lupin could help with that. All I know it, we’re going to need help.” It was the first time Harry had said “we” when speaking of hunting for horcruxes. He had realized he needed others, especially Ron and Hermione. He needed love around him. He couldn’t quite explain it, but he knew the more people he loved, the more people around him who loved him, the easier his task would be.
“HARRY!” Uncle Vernon’s voice bellowed from the living room. “COME HERE!” Completely bewildered, he got up. The others followed right behind him, Ron taking out his wand. They entered the kitchen to see Petunia sitting there with a dusty old box in front of her. “Your aunt would like a word with you, boy.” Uncle Vernon’s eyes rested on Ron’s wand and Ron waved at him with a smirk. When Petunia spoke, her voice was quiet and shaking.
“Harry, this is for you. I’ve been saving these letters for you since you were a baby. I have many letters from Dumbledore here, mainly checking on you, making sure you were ok. I always responded, never more than to let him know you were fine. I also asked him one time if it was normal for you to perform magic without knowing it. I asked this after that time you grew your hair back,” she actually cracked a smile. “Anyway, I’ve kept them in order, the first one at the top of the pile. There are a few other things you might find interesting too, things concerning your parents. I wanted to give it to you tonight because we’re leaving tomorrow for the French Riviera. We’re taking Dudley for an early birthday gift and we know you’ll be gone when we return.” Harry found this humorous since he hadn’t told them when they were leaving. He took the box, didn’t feel the need to say anything but “Thanks,” and walked out.
Ron and Hermione seemed to sense he wanted to be alone, because she mumbled something about going for a walk and took Ron’s hand, leading him out the door. Harry opened the box timidly, unsure of what he would find inside. Right on the top was a letter, Harry didn’t recognize the handwriting, but it was addressed to Petunia Dursley, not the Dursley’s as a couple. Harry opened it gingerly and pulled out the single piece of parchment. There was one sentence on the page.
The home of James, Lily, and Harry Potter is at Number 16 Godric Lane, Godric’s Hollow.
His heart stopped as he realized what this was and who had sent it. Peter Pettigrew, Wormtail. He must have sent it to Aunt Petunia after the Fedilus Charm had been set on his family. I wonder why she kept it all these years. This was before I came to live with them, why would she keep it? He didn’t have to look too far for the answer, because the very next letter answered it for him. The letter was addressed to both of them, but after opening it, Harry saw there were two letters, one with Aunt Petunia’s name on the back, only her name.
Since I’m certain you have already read the other letter enclosed, there is no need to explain again that your younger sister, Lily has died. I want to thank you for taking Harry into your home. I hope that you will all benefit from being together. Your blood will protect him, do not forget this. Agreeing to take him in will keep him alive for his childhood, until he becomes a man. It is vital that you understand that you are all he has. YOU. Not your husband or your son, but you. You are his only blood relative, your son holds very little, if none of Lily in him, seeing as he’s not magical. Without you, Harry would be doomed. You know Lily would have gladly taken Dudley had something happened to you, she always loved you and spoke only kind words about you. Watch over him and make sure he keeps with you, do not let him wander about alone.
I’m going to ask you to keep anything you might have of Lily’s that Harry might find valuable. He will be curious of his parents later in his life and I would like to tell him he has some keepsakes of his mother. I have seen to it that he receive some of his fathers school things, so if you could do the same for his mother, I would appreciate it greatly. Any correspondences you have had with Lily, or about Lily, please keep those as well. It might be useful to Harry later on.
He is a special young wizard, this instance will make him famous in the magical community. His name is on the book to come to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry the year he turns eleven. You are familiar with the school, I know you came to Lily’s graduation with your parents. He will receive his letter with a school list and other things during the summer before his first term. I will see to it that someone is along to take him to purchase his school supplies.
Thank you again for taking care of him. Please care for him and love him as if he were your own.
Harry didn’t know what to think. This was why she had kept the letter from Peter. It’s almost as if Dumbledore knew she would have received this. Well, this takes care of his fear he wouldn’t be able to find Godric’s Hollow. He would now that he had read the letter from Peter. He would have to show it to Ron and Hermione as well. The box also contained more letters from Dumbledore, none of much importance, just checking on Harry. These were dated throughout his childhood; he found it strange to think she had known all this was coming and never told him. She must have really not wanted him to be a wizard. Or maybe she was scared. He would never know, he heard them getting in the car to leave for dinner. He wouldn’t talk to them again, if he could help it. It didn’t matter that much, he was glad she had at least saved this box. At the bottom he found pictures of his mother with other girls, the only one he recognized was Alice Longbottom, Neville’s mom. There was a picture of his mother and father, sitting on the couch in the Gryffindor common room. A picture of the marauders, all smiling up at him, even Peter, the traitor. His father looked so happy to with his arm around Sirius and his other one playfully punching Remus on the arm. Peter looked a little lost, and they were older. He might have already turned on them at this point. A Christmas card was there, signed Lily, James and Harry along with a picture of them all together. His eyes filled with hot tears at the sight of his parents hugging and kissing the baby, him. At the very bottom were a faded Gryffindor scarf and a head girl badge along with a two newspaper clippings, one announcing the wedding of Lily Evans to James Potter, and another, telling about their death and his survival. Harry felt a lump form in his throat.
I’m not going to let their deaths be in vain. I will defeat him, kill him, and make sure he never robs anyone else of their family. He would make sure of that.
“What do you think is in that box?” Ron asked as the pair of them walked around the yard. Petunia was in love with her plants, so the yard was actually quite pretty, and Hermione had to admit it reminded her a little of her home.
“Letters is what she said. Maybe a few other things she has from Lily. I mean, she couldn’t have always hated Lily. In fact, I think it was more jealous than hatred.” Ron marveled at her assessment of the situation and decided she was probably right on the money. That was something he loved about her. Yes loved. He had known for a while that he loved her, since before the battle at Hogwarts. When he didn’t know if she was ok that night, he had been going nuts. Not even Harry knew his feelings though, he wasn’t sure now was the right time to tell him. He figured Harry knew, but they hadn’t spoken openly about it yet. He thought she liked him too, but couldn’t be sure. Someday he would pluck up the courage to ask her out, but that day was not today. “Ron? Earth to Ron! What are you thinking about?”
“Oh, uh, nothing,” he mumbled. She didn’t look convinced. “Look at the stars; it’s a full moon tonight. I wonder what Lupin is up to.”
“Well, probably taking Wolfsbane, I’m sure Tonks is making it for him now.”
“Oh yeah, I forgot they got together.”
“Its war time, love is around, I suspect we’ll see many people getting together soon. I still can’t believe Harry broke it off with Ginny. She was heartbroken you know.”
“Yeah, he was a bloody git for doing it, but I also respect him for loving my sister enough to want to protect her.” I want to protect you, I wish you would let me. Ron thought. Smiling at her, he reached for her hand.
“Hermione? I want you to know, right now, how important your friendship is to me. In these troubled times you never know what is going to happen. I know we’ve bickered and argued and disagreed over the years, but you are a giant force in my life and I wanted you to know.” He looked deep into her eyes and smiled at the bushy nature of her hair. It was flopping around in the wind and she looked beautiful.
“Ron, you’re important to me too,” her voice cracked and trailed off and she turned and ran off toward the house. Why did I run away? You’re scared, you love him, and you don’t know how to tell him. Maybe at some point that Gryffindor bravery will come out and I’ll be able to tell him how I feel. Not today though.
“Hey, there you are, where’s Ron?” Harry looked up as Hermione came into the room and flopped on Harry’s bed.
“Oh, I left him out in the yard,” at the same time she said this they heard Ron coming up the stairs. Hermione’s stomach flipped thinking about him coming in, what would she say? She didn’t have to worry, he walked in, grinned at her and she knew they had an understanding and he wasn’t upset about her running out on him.
“So mate, what was in the box?” Ron asked, flopping onto a pillow on the pallet on the floor. (Harry and Ron were such gentlemen, they were letting Hermione have the bed and they were sleeping on the floor. Hermione had conjured up a nice fluffy pallet with lots of pillows. It was quite comfy, actually.) Harry went on show them the box, they both loved the pictures and knickknacks that were Lily’s, and were both stumped for words at the letter from Wormtail.
“Why did he tell Petunia? It just doesn’t make any sense,” Hermione furrowed her brow and sat thoughtfully, pondering the thought of why a traitorous man would send word about Harry to his aunt. “Are you certain this was sent before your parents died?”
“Well, no, not certain, I just assumed. We don’t live there anymore, and the letter was written in present tense.”
“True, it’s just confusing. The only thing I can figure is that maybe James or Lily asked him to let her sister in on the secret, which he would have done most likely. They probably watched him write the note and send it off. It would be suspicious if he had refused to tell someone they wanted to know, and also he wouldn’t have seen any direct danger in telling them. At that point, he didn’t know you would survive, so his master was in no direct threat of them knowing.” Ron finished this statement with Harry and Hermione giving him strange looks. They weren’t used to his being so detailed and he didn’t normally think things out so completely and make so much sense. “What?” He grinned sheepishly. “I’ve been hanging around Hermione too much.” All three laughed.
“Well, all I know is that I’m not worried anymore about being able o find my parents home. I will be able to now, even if it does happen to still be protected,” Hermione and Ron nodded. The trio sat silently for a few moments, all thinking about the past and the future at the same time. Harry finally broke the silence, “Well, let’s get some dinner. I’m in the mood for something different; could one of you conjure up some Chinese?”
I have a feedback link! Please leave feeback if you loved it or hated it, or if you have any questions or suggestions! Thanks!!
Last edited by nevillesgal; September 17th, 2006 at 5:22 am.
Re: With Open Arms
I just went part time at work, so I'm planning on writing fairly often, hopefully a couple times a week. I've always wanted to be a writer...so maybe I can begin my dream here in this fanfic. I'm really having fun writing it. Thanks so much to RavenLH and LikeLuna for the feedback! You all are awesome, and I hope this continues to be enjoyable for you!!
Please, leave feedback!!!
The next few days went by quickly, seeing as the Dursley’s were out of the house so they could do whatever they pleased. Ron was rather taken with the television and enjoyed watching reruns of old sitcoms, laughing out loud at the silly plot lines and marveling at the Muggle way of living. Harry and Hermione decided not to push the issue of needing Ron’s help with research about Horcruxes, figuring he needed a break. He was really enjoying the TV too, and seeing as there was so little to be happy at the moment, they wanted him to enjoy his time. Leaving for the Order meeting came all too quickly, and they were scrambling around trying to get ready to leave Privet Drive. Finally, all their things were packed in their trunks (even with Ron and Hermione able to use magic, this process took longer than expected), and Hermione vanished all three trunks to headquarters. Seeing as Hermione was the only one who could legally apparate, Ron and Harry linked arms with her and together they left. Right before Harry felt the affects of side-along apparition, he took one last look at his childhood home. Privet drive was gone in a flash and he found himself standing outside what was his house, the headquaters of the Order of the Phoenix. Looking at each other, they nodded and Harry led the way, quietly opening the door. They didn’t want to wake up Sirius’s mum. Once in the house, they heard voices in the basement kitchen and headed down.
“Oh kids! Harry, Ron, Hermione, you’re here!” Molly Weasley looked more than thrilled to see her son and his friends, and grabbed them all in turn and hugged them tight. After being released, they all greeted the others in the room. Charlie Weasley, Bill Weasley, Tonks, Lupin, McGonagall, Hagrid, Arthur and the twins all sat around the table, eating what appeared to be roasted chicken and potatoes. The trio sat down and helped themselves to the food and quietly looked around. Considering they had never been invited to a meeting before, they weren’t quite sure what to say.
“Bill, Kingzley will beez a lizztle late, he sayz to begin wizout him,” Fleur came in, flipping her long hair behind her. Ron looked confused, so Bill swallowed and explained.
“Fleur is now working in the Auror department as Kingsley’s assistant.” Ron nodded in understanding and continued to eat. While he was chowing down, all eyes in the room turned to McGonagall and he swallowed quickly and turned his gaze to her as well.
“Well, thank you everyone for being here. I know we are missing a few members, but they are busy with other important matters and I will give them an update on this meeting. First things first, we want to welcome the newest members of the Order, Fred and George Weasley, who will remain under cover in Diagon Alley as well as Hogsmeade under the cover of their joke shops. They will be keeping us informed of the goings on at both locations, as well as any suspicious people making purchases. As you have all been informed, Draco Malfoy used some of their products in his attack on Hogwarts only a few weeks ago.” Ron and Harry exchanged a dark look and Hermione sighed. “You might also recognize a few others who haven’t been a part of our past meetings, but they are here at my request.” She now looked at the three of them intently, and Harry had the feeling he was about to receive a detention, even though they weren’t in school and he had done nothing wrong. “Harry, Ron, Hermione, I’ve asked you here in hopes that you will consider joining the Order officially. You have already been involved in battles, and have proven yourselves to be extremely talented and resourceful. I know we would be proud to call you members of this Order, and I know you will fight tirelessly until Voldemort is caught and finished for good. Ron and Hermione are both already of age, and Harry will be next week, so there is no parental permission needed,” she looked pointedly at Mrs. Weasley who blushed but nodded. “We hope you will join us.” She sat down and seemed to be waiting for one of them to reply. Harry spoke first.
“Well, I can’t officially speak for Ron and Hermione, although I think they will agree with me, that I am more than willing to join the Order. In fact, it seems to be my calling,” slightly smiling, he looked to his two friends for agreement.
“I am also willing,” Hermione spoke up firmly, clinching her fists and looking determined.
“As am I,” Ron said with fervor.
“Excellent, now that that is settled we need to discuss your assignments and get you briefed on current plans and—“
“Professor? I’m sorry to interrupt, but I feel I need to put all my cards on the table before you give us specific instructions.” She nodded and Harry knew he had the floor. He stood up; he felt he needed a better view of everyone. “I notice that tonight you haven’t asked me to explain where Professor Dumbledore and I were before his death, the night of the attack on Hogwarts. Well, I’ve been dealing with an internal battle, trying to decide if I should divulge the information to you and the other Order members and I’ve finally decided that I have to tell you. I’m going to need your help. After Sirius died a year ago, Professor Dumbledore told me the contents of the prophecy that you all were protecting. He knew the prophecy because he heard it when it was made to him. The basics are that I am the only one who can finish off Voldemort. Seeing as I had a huge battle in my future, he decided it best to share all his knowledge of Voldemort with me, so we had private lessons all last year. During these lessons, I learned that Voldemort had created Horcruxes, in an attempt to become immortal. Professor Dumbledore believed there to be 7 in all, with the final one being the bit of soul in his body. One was the diary I destroyed in my second year, and he found one and destroyed it last summer. Destroying it was what caused his hand to wither. So, two of them have been destroyed, leaving four left to be found. I have an idea what they might be, nothing for sure. The night of the attack and his death, Professor Dumbledore discovered another horcrux and we went to find and destroy it. The only problem was that once we got there, the horcrux had been switched with a fake one. The one we were looking for was a locket.” Harry finished his miniature speech and sat back down.
“Wow, that is a lot of information to take in at one time,” Lupin said and the others around the table murmured in agreement. “So, the locket horcrux is still out there?”
“Yes, the note left behind said the person who took it was going to destroy it, but for all I know it might still be out there.”
“Was there a signature at the bottom of the note?”
“Yes, but only initials. R.A.B. We’ve been doing some research about horcruxes and death eaters this summer, but so far, we haven’t come up with anyone with those initials who seems likely to be the person who look the locket. I’m hoping this is something we can work together as an Order to find out. Without knowing if the locket has been destroyed, then it might be that he will have a chance to return. I’m not willing to take that chance. I’ve got some ideas about where other the horcruxes might be, but right now I think it’s important to locate the locket horcrux. Oh, and also, Professor Dumbledore never explained to me how to actually destroy one, and seeing as he almost died trying to himself; I figured I’ll need your help with that as well.” Bill looked up at this, recognition visible on his face.
“I think I can help there Harry. Breaking curses was what I did for a living for many years, and although I’ve never actually broken a horcrux curse, I’m almost positive it’s in the handbook I have from Gringott’s. The book is at home though, so I’ll look as soon as I get home tonight.” Harry nodded and Professor McGonagall stood up then, straightening her spectacles and looked thoughtful.
“Well, Harry, I appreciate you giving us all that information, we’ll need time to think on it and figure out what is to be done. Now, about Hogwarts reopening. I have received information from the school governors that if students want to return and the staff agree to return, and then we will be allowed to reopen. Apparently the minister fought against opening it, but the governors said that the school wasn’t his domain and if the students and staff wished for it to open, it would. We’ve already received over a hundred owls from students who wish to come back, and all the staff is going to turn. Remus has agreed to serve as Defense teacher again, the parents of students are more afraid of Voldemort than him, and the governors have agreed he was the best man for the job. Tonks has agreed to take on the Transfiguration job, as she was wishing to leave the ministry and is quite distinguished in the subject. Now, are the three of you planning to return?” Ron shot Hermione a look and both turned to directly face Harry. Harry, opening his mouth to speak was waved silent by Ron, who spoke.
“Harry, mate, before you go all noble about giving up your education to fight in the war and go on to destroy horcruxes, I need to get this out. I think you should return to Hogwarts. You will be able to be there to base your search, use the library as a resource, and have the protection of the school. It’s most likely the safest place for you right now, even though it’s not as safe as it once was. Professor?” Now looking at McGonagall, Ron continued. “Can we use the school as a home base, continuing going on with classes and acting as normal as possible, and when we have a horcrux lead, be allowed to leave and find it? With the Order’s help, and half the Order being on staff, we should be able to keep up with our lessons. What do you think? Professor, Harry?” Ron finished and looked nervously at Harry. He and Hermione had been discussing this when Harry wasn’t around, and decided they might get him to agree if it was brought up in front of the Order.
“I will allow that,” McGonagall said. “Harry? What are your thoughts?” Harry looked thoughtful, as if he were fighting inside himself to decide.
“Well, I wasn’t really planning on returning, but Ron makes some good points. I will be allowed to leave, with Ron and Hermione of course, when we need to?” McGonagall nodded and the deal was done…the trio would be returning.
“Now, we are excited and apprehensive about the school reopening. If you can think of any other students, who are of age, who might like to join our cause, let me know and I will contact them. Be thoughtful in your suggestions, as we don’t want anyone who might be detrimental joining.”
“Neville Longbottom,” Harry, Ron, and Hermione all said at the same time. “He’s stood by me many times, been a true and loyal friend, and has personal reasons for wanting to destroy Voldemort and his Death Eaters. We can trust Neville, and he might be a little clumsy sometimes, but well, you all did let Tonks in the Order so…” Harry trailed off, grinning at the woman with bright pink hair, who stuck her tongue out at him. Everyone chuckled at his joke and looked to McGonagall for her opinion of Neville.
“Harry, would you be willing to go to him and recruit him?” She asked.
“Absolutely. I’ll leave first thing in the morning and return to the burrow for the wedding. Then, I want to go to Godric’s Hollow. I feel the need to see where it all began.” He said quietly, and the whole room looked somber and no one argued with him.
“Fine, but if Ron and Hermione aren’t planning on going with you, then I must insist on an escort going with you.”
“I would like to go,” Lupin spoke up. “I know how Neville feels, needing to get revenge, as does Harry. I think we would both be good people to talk with him.” Harry smiled; it might be nice to spend some time with Lupin alone. He really hadn’t had a chance to since his third year when he was having dementor lessons.
“OK, well, we don’t have much else to discuss—“ Tonks raised her hand, cutting off McGonagall.
“Minerva, has the Vanishing Cabinet been taken care of?”
“Yes, thanks for bringing it up, I almost forgot. The ministry confiscated the one from Borgin and Burkes and I removed the one from the Room of Requirement. I have placed both in my office, because I thought they might come in handy for us at some point. I was actually considering placing the other one here, so we could get two and fro without having to Floo or walk to Hogsmeade to apparate.”
“I like that idea,” said Arthur. “I think we need to add extra magical precautions though, maybe something similar to the dark mark barriers. This way, only Order members would be able to pass through them. We could enchant it to recognize people, or require a password to open.”
“Alright, can you work on that for us then Arthur?” He nodded. “Well, then, for now we’ll adjourn this meeting. Thanks everyone.” Just as people starting moving around, Kingsley came bursting in.
“There has been an attack. Dementor, in Bristol. No one really knows why, but the man was kissed. A muggle. We’re working on figuring out who his family is, they will need to be notified, although I don’t know what they’ll be told, since there really isn’t a body, he’s not dead. Anyway, we’re really on the lookout now for Dementors, seeing as they have now started kissing almost anyone they encounter.” He looked upset, flushed behind his dark completion. “It’s been a long day.” Falling into a chair beside Hermione, he put his head in his hands. “Oh, and Peter Pettigrew was spotted in Hogsmeade. It looked as though he got there as a rat and transformed before going into the Shrieking Shack. A young boy just happened to get a glimpse of him and told his father, who altered us. He was gone before we arrived though.”
“The Shrieking Shack? Then he might be in Hogwarts! I know he knows about the secret passage leading from there to the school, we’ll have to watch closely for him.” Lupin looked at Harry and winked, and it dawned on Harry that he would have to watch the marauders map closely. “In fact, I need to go and work on my lesson plans anyway, why don’t we head there now? Harry, you can come with me and then we can head to Neville’s. Tonks, sweet, would you like to come too?”
“OK, let me get my coat,” she said and headed out of the room.
“Remus, you’ll keep a sharp eye on Harry?” McGonagall asked. Harry looked insulted so she added, “Harry, I know you are competent and capable of dueling and protecting yourself but you are the target and we would protect anyone who we thought was in extreme danger. That’s all I meant.” This seemed to satisfy Harry and with Tonks returning, Lupin assured everyone Harry would be fine, threw some Floo powder into the fireplace and said, “HOGWARTS!” and he was gone. Harry followed, with Tonks close behind.
“Wow, its kinda eerie here without students bustling about,” Harry whispered. He had just stepped through the fireplace in the Great Hall. The House tables were empty, nothing on them, just sitting in the dark room, looking ominous. Harry followed Lupin to his office, Tonks right behind them, walking behind Harry with her wand out. Harry noticed Lupin also had his wand out, so he took his out as well. Hogwarts was cold and dark, nothing like the place Harry had come to love so much. Lupin was rounding the corner to his classroom and office.
“This is more like the Hogwarts I remember,” Harry said as they entered the office with a warm lit fire and comfy chairs. “Although, I don’t remember the chairs being here before.”
“I added them a few days ago. I thought the office needed something since it hadn’t been occupied since Umbridge, seeing as Snape kept his in the dungeons.”
“Oh yeah, I forgot. Is Slughorn still going to be Potions teacher?”
“Yes, and head of Slytherin house. Oh, I forgot to tell both of you, I’m going to be the new head of Gryffindor!” Lupin grinned and pointed at the gold and scarlet accents around his office. Tonks went over and kissed him on the cheek, beaming up at him.
“Great!” Harry grinned at the pair of them.
“OK Harry, lets check the map and see if Wormtail decided to linger around Hogwarts tonight.” Lupin sat in his chair, Tonks on his knee and Harry pulled a chair up beside him. “It won’t be too hard to find him, since the only other person in the castle should be Filch.” Harry opened the map and spread it on the table.
“Tonks, is this your first experience with the map?” Harry’s eyes looked mischievous as he smiled at her. She nodded and smiled back excitedly. “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.” The map sprang to life, all of Hogwarts was right before their eyes. Scanning it, Harry saw Filch was in his office with Mrs. Norris, and it looked like Hagrid had returned after they did. Still looking, Harry heard Tonks gasp. Right outside Gryffindor Tower, there was one other person in the school.
Last edited by nevillesgal; September 10th, 2006 at 5:32 am.
Re: With Open Arms
Sorry this is kinda short. I know the Wormtail scene will probably disappoint some of you, I know it's kinda lame, but it is important to the plot line later. It is a little awkward though...I know!! Thanks for reading!
“Remus! You were right, he is here in Hogwarts!” Tonks whispered her voice excited.
“Yes, so I was,” Lupin looked thoughtful for a moment, and then he turned to Harry. “Do you have your cloak on you tonight?”
“I’ve been carrying it with me everywhere since last year, Professor Dumbledore asked me too. Why?”
“Well, if anyone else was here, we would see them on the map. I’m going to assume no one is working in the room of requirement because otherwise he would be up there, guarding it. I say we use the map, your cloak, and a disillusionment charm to sneak up on him. We have a major advantage because he doesn’t know we’re in the castle, plus we have the map so we can see wherever he goes.” Tonks looked impressed and gave him another kiss on the cheek.
“OK, so who is going to be disillusioned?”
“Well, I figure you can go under the cloak and Tonks can be disillusioned. I will simply walk around the castle, he knows I’ve been appointed teacher so I have a reason to be here. Tonks, once we see him, remember he might be a rat; I want you to use a freezing charm so he can’t escape. He will be expecting me to be alone, so even if he sees me, he won’t see either of you. After he’s frozen, Harry, grab him, rat or not, and then we’ll drag him back to my office. Are we all together on this one?” Tonks and Harry nodded in agreement. Looking back at the map, they saw he was still outside the entrance to the Gryffindor common room, and he seemed to be pacing.
“I’ll bet he’s trying to come up with passwords, he’s probably trying one in hopes he will get the correct one. Git, he doesn’t realize that a password is not used during the summer and that only the head of house and the house elves can get in. The Fat Lady will never open for him,” Lupin laughed softly, reveling in his old friends’ stupidity. “Alright, let’s go!” Casting the spell on Tonks and Harry slipping under his cloak, holding the map, the three of them set off.
Once they reached the corridor of the Fat Lady it was obvious this was going to be easy. They were approaching him from the back, he had no idea they were there…and he was a man. He would be easy to freeze and easy to apprehend. Tonks was about 10 feet from him when she cast her silent charm. He stopped immediately and Harry saw Lupin wave his wand.
“Wh..huh..I can’t transform!” Peter whined, fear and panic in his hushed voice. Lupin had cast a spell making him unable to transform into a rat, making it impossible for him to get away. Peter couldn’t turn around and as they approached him, it was apparent he was shaking. Tonks became visible again and Harry took off his cloak.
“Well, well, what have we here?” Lupin came into Peter’s view and shook his head scolding. “Peter, why are you trying to get into my house’s common room? You should have known that would be impossible during the summer holidays. Tsk, tsk, I can’t believe you.” Lupin was scolding him, but grinning smugly. Peter looked at the floor, just in time to see two more pairs of feet come and stand beside Lupin.
“Ha..Ha…Harry? There was nothing but absolute fear in his voice. His eyes were pleading, and Harry, remembered his anger after Dumbledore had been killed. He spoke softly, in a steady voice, a hint of hatred dripping from his tongue.
“Hello Wormtail. I will not save your life this time,” even though he had no intention of killing him, Harry raised his wand and pointed it directly at his face. “You are a traitorous murder, a man who doesn’t deserve to continue breathing. However, I’m not stupid, and you could be of use to us. Moblicorpus!” Harry cast the spell and frozen, scared stiff Pettigrew began to float in the direction of the office. Once they got there, Harry put him in the corner, allowing his head to bonk up and down on the ceiling. He thought of Sirius doing the same thing to Snape and smiled inwardly. Lupin pulled a small bottle from the bottom drawer of his desk and shoved it down Pettigrew’s throat.
“Is your name Peter Pettigrew?”
“Were you in Gryffindor house during your years at Hogwarts?”
“Why were you trying to enter said house common room tonight?”
“My master is searching for something. He wouldn’t go into detail, but I was instructed to wait inside the common room of Gryffindor. I am able to disguise myself. Snape assured me I would be able to get in since it was the summer holidays and no one would be in the castle.” Once he finished speaking, Lupin gave him another potion and he slumped to the floor, still frozen, but fast asleep. They needed to talk without the chance of him overhearing.
“Snape’s assured him?! What?” Harry’s voice was irate, and his body began to shake in anger.
“Harry, try not to get too upset,” Lupin soothed Harry’s nerves with his calm voice. “I’m actually confused by this. Snape would know Peter couldn’t get in Gryffindor tower. This isn’t adding up. Something is not right about this situation.” Lupin sat back in his chair, thoughtfully looking around the room. “Not right at all.”
Miles from Hogwarts, another man was sitting in his chair, also leaning back thoughtfully. Pushing his greasy black hair out of his eyes, he wondered if Wormtail had been caught yet. He was sure it was only a matter of time before he was caught in Hogwarts. Severus knew that the Dark Lord was searching for something he thought was at Hogwarts, in Gryffindor Tower. He also thought that Wormtail might have been sent only so he would get caught. Voldemort had only found out recently that Wormtail owed a life debt to Potter. The anger at this was the worst any Death Eater had ever seen. So, feigning a mission, he had sent him to Hogwarts. No one ever turned down a mission, and even Wormtail wasn’t stupid enough to argue. He had been sent on a wild goose chase. Snape felt certain he expected him to be caught, that he even wanted it. Catching a known Death Eater, one who had slipped the ministry for almost 16 years, would be all over the papers and the ministry would begin to relax a little. They would interrogate him, and pretend he had given them pertinent information. Although he had none. The Dark Lord hadn’t been sharing anything with him for over a year now. He was partially blamed for Harry’s escape from the graveyard, only because Voldemort himself wasn’t going to admit he made a mistake. Since then though, he had been given less and less, and Voldemort was trying to get rid of him. Snape took this and ran with it though, because it helped him. He had to get back into the good graces of the Order, and Wormtail was his ticket. Putting his wand to his head, he removed a memory and placed it in a bottle, corked it, and slipped it inside his robes. It was time to pay a visit to Number 12, Grimmauld Place.
Please leave feedback!
Last edited by nevillesgal; September 10th, 2006 at 5:33 am.
Re: With Open Arms
Thanks to everyone for reading and for leaving feedback!! I'll be totally honest with you, I'm not really sure where I'm going with the Snape storyline, but we'll see when we get there I suppose! I hope you enjoy, and thanks again for reading!
Chapter FourRon was laying on his back, in the room he and Harry had shared at the Black home during their fifth year. That seemed like a lifetime ago. He remembered that summer, not being able to communicate with Harry properly, since Dumbledore was trying to keep Harry in the dark to protect him. It was crazy to think of it now, seeing as Harry had still managed to get involved in a battle with the Voldemort and his Death Eaters that year. Shuddering at the memory of that night at the ministry, Ron decided to think of happier things. Hermione’s face filled his mind and he smiled. She was so cute tonight at dinner, talking with mum about the wedding. She said she’s had hers planned out since she could remember. Our wedding, she’s had our wedding planned out. Even if she doesn’t know that I’m going to be the groom. He was pulled out of his thoughts by a knock on the door.
“Ron?” Hermione entered the room, smiling at him. Well, think of the devil. He thought and smiled back at her. “What are doing? Are you going to sleep?”
“Nah, I was just remembering all we’ve done in the last few years. So much has happened, but it seems like ages ago, doesn’t it?”
“Yes, I still can’t believe Sirius has been dead for a year now. It feels kinda weird to be in this house without him, doesn’t it?”
“Yeah, I suppose it does. It’s Harry’s house now though. I wonder if he’ll live here after the war,” Ron patted the space on the bed next to him and Hermione came and plopped down.
“Let’s not talk about it right now,” she said, and put her head on his shoulder. He instinctively put his arm around her. This is right, this feels right. They both thought, but neither said aloud. “Ron?” She turned at looked into his eyes. Her heart pounding as he looked down into her own, she tentatively sat up, their faces were almost touching.
“Yes?” He moved closer to her, very aware of his arm on her shoulders, her breath warming his face. It’s now or never, He thought as he slowly moved his face toward hers, their noses centimeters apart. She closed her eyes, waiting, wanting, and hoping. Nothing happened though, because at that moment they were ripped apart, startled by a loud scream, Mrs. Weasley’s scream, coming up from below. Looking at each other, fear in their eyes, they jumped up and ran to the basement. Hermione also let out a scream when they entered the kitchen. Ron pulled her behind him, holding her arm firmly, and pulling his wand.
“Oh, put it away Weasley. Here you can have mine too,” Severus Snape tossed his wand to Ron, who caught it, looking absolutely thunderstruck.
“What are we going to do with Pettigrew?” Tonks asked Harry and Remus, who were both silently contemplating the fact that they had caught him.
“Well, I don’t know. It’s not in my nature, or the Order’s, to take hostages, but if we turn him over to the ministry, we may never get a chance to really talk to him. The thing about Peter is, although he is a traitor, he’s also a coward. I think if I could really get some time with him, he would spill his little rat guts about anything he knows. He’s still scared of me, and he’s terrified of you, Harry. I really think we need to hang onto him, although we can’t take him to headquarters seeing as he doesn’t know where it is and can’t be told by the secret keeper,” Lupin said this last bit quietly, not meeting Harry’s eyes. Dumbledore was secret keeper for the Order, so no one would ever be able to find Grimmauld Place again, as long as it was headquarters. The secret had died with him.
“How about the Burrow? I’m sure the Weasley’s wouldn’t mind keeping him there, assuming we can ensure he can’t apparate or transform,” Harry remembered Dumbledore casting the anti -apparition jinx at the ministry, and assumed Lupin had already used the same one on Pettigrew.
“Oh, if that can be arranged, then we can make certain he won’t escape. Harry? Floo over to headquarters and talk with Arthur and Molly, then bring them here if they agree.”
“Alright, I’ll go on now then,” Harry took some floo powder from Tonks and made his way to Lupin’s lit fireplace. Tossing the powder in the fire, Harry stepped and was gone in a flash. Stepping out of the fireplace in the basement kitchen, he took off his glasses and cleaned the soot off before looking up. He heart stopped when he saw the scene. Snape was standing in front of a terrified Mrs. Weasley, looking around as though he belonged there. Ron was holding Hermione behind him, shielding her, protecting her, his wand pointed at Snape, but he wasn’t looking at Snape; Ron was goggling at another wand, in his other hand. Harry pulled his wand and pointed it directly at Snape.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?” Harry did not even attempt to hide his anger, yelling at the top of his voice. “HOW DID YOU GET IN HERE?”
“Well, Potter, I was told the secret by Albus of course, so I can come in and out as I please.”
“HOW DARE YOU USE HIS NAME! YOU MURDERED HIM! YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO SPEAK OF HIM, TO BE HERE!” Harry moved forward, still pointing his wand at Snape. In a quieter, though still angry, voice he said, “Move Mrs. Weasley. I don’t want you in the crossfire.” She didn’t need to be told again, she got up and ran behind Ron, holding Hermione’s free arm with a look of pure terror on her face. Ron pushed his mother and his love into the hallway and closed the door. It was just the three men in the room now; Ron walked over and stood right next to Harry, his wand also pointed at Snape.
“Potter, look at your friend, he’s holding more than one wand. My wand. Which I gave him. Think this through, why would I do that?”
“I don’t know, but I don’t care either,” Harry knew Snape would know the spell he was going to use, he could feel his presence in his mind, but he was wandless, Harry could kill him and he couldn’t so much as react. Harry, being smart however, did not kill him. He stunned him. Harry grabbed his arm and pulled him toward the fireplace. Before flooing, he turned to Ron, “Go get your mother and father. Floo to Lupin’s office as soon as you find them, we’ve got a few decisions to make.” Ron nodded and turned to go just as Harry and Snape left.
Waking up in an unfamiliar place, Peter looked about him. He was in some kind of room, small, but furnished. He was on a bed. Rolling over, his eyes widened when he saw Snape standing by the window, looking out.
“Severus? What’s going on?”
“Well, Wormtail, you were stupid enough to get yourself caught by Potter, Lupin, and Tonks, and I was sent to get you, and I got caught. They came up behind me, stunned me, and I woke up here. In that bed, next to you.” Snape looked directly at him when speaking; he knew Peter couldn’t get into his mind, so his lie was most convincing. “Anyway, I tried to apparate out, but I can’t. I don’t know where we are, but we’re in some kind of bedroom. I expect they’ve put anti-apparation jinxes on it and probably anti-transformation also, so you can’t run out as a rat.” At this statement, Peter stood and attempted to transform, but nothing happened.
“Yes, I can’t change into a rat,” as he said this, the door opened and Lupin walked in, carrying a tray with two plates on it.
“Oh good, you’re both awake. I thought we might have a little class reunion. Sit and eat, Molly is an excellent cook.”
“You’re feeding us?” Peter looked at Lupin incredulously, but sat and looked at the food, a doubtful expression on his face. “Is this food poisoned?”
“Come on, you know the Order isn’t going to poison either of you. Or let you starve. You know how the Order works, considering you are both members. Traitorous members, but members nonetheless.” Snape began eating his Shepherd’s Pie. This convinced Peter, and he also ate hungrily.
“Now, let’s chat boys,” Lupin poured himself some Pumpkin Juice and sat back, a look of curiosity and animosity on his face. “Tell me what you’re up to.”
I'm begging for feedback...PLEASE?? Pretty please with a cherry on top? Thanks so much for reading!
Last edited by nevillesgal; August 14th, 2006 at 10:38 pm.
Re: With Open Arms
I know my Snape and Dumbledore aren't the best. I have trouble writing them. Neville is a little bit different, on purpose. It's also a little long, hope you don't get bored with it! Oh, what happens to Snape in this story might not be what some of you want for him. I hope you'll read anyway. Thanks for reading!!
Remus Lupin had to admit he was confused. After speaking with Peter and Snape, he had more questions than answers and didn’t know where to go from here. It was obvious that Snape wasn’t talking because of Peter being in the room, the question was, why? Why did it matter? It was also obvious to Lupin that Peter had no clue about any of the plans of Voldemort. It seemed as though Peter was sent on some kind of wild goose chase, possibly to get caught. Why Peter was here he couldn’t explain, and Lupin wasn’t too worried about it really. He had seen the absolute terror in his old school friend’s eyes, if he had known anything, Lupin felt sure he would have told him. Snape on the other hand, hadn’t really said much either, but it seemed not for lack of knowledge, but because of Peter. He kept casting Peter dark looks and was very condescending toward him. Which, was actually exactly like Snape, but seeing as they were both on the same side now, it didn’t make much sense. He probably still hated Peter, no matter what he had done for Voldemort. All Snape had done was hand Lupin a small bottle, a memory he said, that Harry would find interesting. He had actually said Potter through gritted teeth and with a snarl of hatred on his mouth. The same way he would have said James’ name. His hatred for Harry ran so deep. Lupin had been slowly walking to the kitchen of the Burrow, and now he descended the stairs and entered the room. All eyes turned to him. He sat the tray he was carrying in the sink and, still silently, sat across from Harry.
“So? Did you get any information out of either of them?” Harry sounded tense and angry and looked about to explode.
“Not really. Peter doesn’t know anything, which was obvious from the beginning of the conversation. He actually thought we were poisoning him. He’s extremely paranoid and honestly, I think he’s finally losing his mind,” Lupin shrugged his shoulders and looked away for a moment, then continued. “Snape only said that you, Harry, would find this interesting. It’s a memory, he said.” Lupin handed the small bottle to Harry, who looked at it with disgust.
“I don’t care to see any of his memories. It’s probably just another memory of my dad being mean to him,” Harry spat these words and slammed the memory down on the table. The bottle cracked but Mr. Weasley repaired it before anything came out.
“Harry, you should watch the memory. It might be important,” Hermione spoke up and glanced around the room. All the adults seemed to read her mind and left, leaving on Hermione, Ron, and Harry sitting around the table.
“She’s right mate, Snape might know about the horcruxes, he has been working for Voldemort for a long time,” Ron gave all three of them more tea as he spoke. Harry looked at his friends like they were organizing a mutiny.
“I don’t care!” His voice was loud, although not quite yelling. “He killed Dumbledore! He heard the prophecy that sent Voldemort after my family! He’s evil.”
“Harry,” Hermione came around and sat right next to him and took hold of his arms. “I know you’re upset, I do, but right now, you have to think about defeating Voldemort. This might help you.”
“It can’t hurt to watch can it? I mean, if it’s just something about your dad, just leave. If not though, you might be glad you saw it,” Ron was now on the other side of Harry. Harry looked from Ron to Hermione. His two best friends, the people he had counted on for six years. He knew they were right; he just hated to admit it. “Plus, Snape gave me his wand, totally weird. Something is up with Snape and that memory might help us figure it out.”
“OK, but we’re going to have to find a pensieve. I wonder if the Blacks had one.”
“You know who would know? Kreacher. You should summon him; he’ll be able to tell you. He’ll have to tell you, since it’s all yours now anyway,” Hermione said Kreacher’s name hesitantly; Harry wasn’t exactly fond of the elf.
“Yeah, he would know. I’ll summon him. Ron, will you get Lupin, Tonks and you’re parents in here please? Thanks. Kreacher!” Harry said the name with determination. Crack! Merely a second after saying his name, the house elf appeared.
“Master called?” He said sarcastically.
“Yes, Kreacher, do you know if the Blacks had a pensieve? A basin you can put memories into? If so, go get it,” looking at his master with loathing, Kreacher left the room. As he was leaving, muttering, “The mudblood is here again.” The others came back into the room. “We’re going to take a little trip down Snape’s memory lane, hopefully it will help us. I doubt it though. Remus? Do you know how to make it so the memories come up out of the pensieve, instead of us having to all go in? Professor Dumbledore did it once with a memory of Bertha Jorkins, so I was hoping we could all watch together.” Lupin nodded as Kreacher returned, holding a basin with some difficulty, seeing as it was three times his size. Ron got up and retrieved it from him, and placed it on the table. “Thank you Kreacher. Return to Hogwarts and tell no one that you spoke with me today.” With a glare Kreacher was gone.
Harry took out the bottle and poured the liquid memory in. Lupin didn’t say anything, but took his wand out and made a swirling motion and Snape and Dumbledore appeared before their eyes. They seemed distressed.
“Headmaster, what could I have done? She was there, begging me to save Draco, and Bella was with her so I had to keep my mind firmly closed.”
“Severus, you did what I would have done. Protecting Draco is of the utmost importance. Right up there with protecting Harry.” Professor Dumbledore looked sad, lost, and alone.
“I couldn’t think of a way around taking the vow, but I read in her mind what his task is. To kill you. She believes it to be punishment for Lucius’ mistakes at the ministry.”
“Has Draco taken the Dark Mark?”
“Well, you will have to fulfill his task then, if he is unable to. We will try and prolong it as long as possible. I’m an old man, and I almost died this summer. My lifeline is closing in on me already.”
“No buts Severus, you agreed to do everything to protect Harry. I have your word on that. You gave his parents to be killed. Yes, you tried to save Lily, but failed. You failed to keep James alive even though you owed him your life. That debt of yours is now between you and Harry. You must keep him safe. Even if that means killing me to keep up your pretense as a Death Eater.”
The memory faded out and went back into the pensieve. The room was silent, everyone taking in what they had just seen. Had Dumbledore really told Snape to kill him? Was he really doing it to protect Harry? Hermione broke the silence.
“Are we sure that was a real memory? Couldn’t he have imagined that conversation and made up the memory?”
“No. I’ve seen a memory that has been tampered with, and it looked nothing like that,” Harry spoke in a whisper. “That was a real memory.” Harry said this with such finality that no one argued with him. Again, no one spoke but everyone was thinking the same thing, was Snape really on our side?
Nothing more had been decided about Snape, but he was still at The Burrow. Lupin turned Peter over to the ministry, who put him in Azkaban without a trial. They now knew he was an animagus too, so a guard was to stand by at all times of his cell. He was one of the most wanted criminals in the wizarding world, so they were taking extra precautions with him. Lupin and Harry left the next day to speak with Neville. They waited in the foyer of his grandmothers home while the house elf went to get Neville.
“Harry? Professor Lupin?” Neville’s voice clearly showed his surprise at them being in his foyer. “Come in! Come to the den. Fink? Will you please get some tea and biscuits?” Neville addressed the house elf, who left immediately to get the refreshments. “Tell Hermione my Gran is now paying him for his service. I told her about S.P.E.W.” Harry had to laugh out loud at this, seeing as Hermione would probably kiss Neville next time she saw him. The three men entered the den and sat down. Neville didn’t look like his normal, tentative, quiet self. He looked more confident, and totally at ease in his home. Harry knew that was partly because of fighting in so many battles. Even Neville had to admit he was a brave Gryffindor now.
“Well Neville, you’re probably wondering why we’re here,” Lupin said as he helped himself to a biscuit from the tray Fink had sat in front of him. Neville nodded, but remained silent. “I know you’ve heard about the Order of the Phoenix. You’ve even fought along side us twice. Well, you and Harry are both about to be of age, so you can become members. Ron and Hermione are also. We’re here to discuss your thoughts about joining.” Before Neville could say anything though, Harry spoke.
“Neville, I am so proud of you. You and Luna were the only two members of the DA who responded to Hermione’s call the night the Death Eaters entered the castle. You stuck with me at the ministry; you stood up to Bellatrix Lestrange. I want you right there, fighting with me. I’m going to need you Neville.” Harry got a little choked up, which he hadn’t seen coming. He was proud to have Neville beside him though; he needed a friend with so much loyalty.
“Bellatrix Lestrange,” Neville’s voice was quiet as he spoke. “You both know I’m in. I have to fight. Voldemort and his followers cost me my parents. I just need a promise from both of you.” Harry and Lupin looked up, nodding. “If Bellatrix is trapped, don’t harm her. Save her for me.” His voice cracked and he looked at them through angry tears. “I have a score to settle with her.” Looking slightly taken aback by his profound statement, Harry and Lupin nodded again. They silently agreed not to argue with Neville on this one. He needed to avenge his parents, as Harry needed to avenge his.
“We’re going back to Hogwarts Neville. Ron, Hermione and I are. We will be leaving periodically to do work for the Order, but we’re going back. We’ll need you there also.”
“I’m going back.”
“Good. Well, you can come with us today back to, wait, how is he going to get to Headquarters?” This problem had only just dawned on Harry.
“Oh, I have something that will help,” Lupin pulled out a piece of paper and handed it to Neville. “I saved it, in a safe place, hidden, just in case.” Harry knew it had Dumbledore’s handwriting on it, telling Neville where headquarters was. “Anyway, Neville, you can come with us now, or you can wait and come for the meeting tomorrow night.”
“I’ll come now, let me just explain things to Gran. I’ll be back in a few minutes,” Neville left the room, leaving Harry and Lupin alone with their thoughts. Lupin spoke first.
“His parents would be so proud of him. I wish they could see him. I wish your parents could see you Harry.”
“I know, I wish that too.”
“As you get older I see so much of each of them in you, Harry. It’s scary actually. You have your mother’s kind heart, but your father’s determination. They both wanted a safe, happy life for you. I know they wouldn’t have wished this on you. But, they would be proud of who you’ve become.”
“Remus? I’ve been thinking of something for a while now. When the war is over, can we look into your memory and bring memories into the pensieve of my parents? I just want to hear their voices again.”
“Yes Harry, we can do that,” shining tears in his eyes, Lupin stood and walked to the fireplace. Putting his hand on the mantle, he thought about James, Lily, and Sirius. They were more than his friends, they were his family. Before him sat their son and godson, and right in that moment, he realized Harry was a man now. Not a boy to be taught, but a man to listen to and respect. Just like James.
Not too much of a cliffie this time! Hope you enjoyed it!!! Please leave feedback!!!! Tell me how much my Snape and Dumbldore stunk and complain about Snape!!!! Please leave feedback!!!
Last edited by nevillesgal; August 21st, 2006 at 12:13 am.
Re: With Open Arms
I know I just posted yesterday, but I had this done and I'm excited about this post so I decided to go ahead and post! I hope you enjoy it!!
Hermione sat on Ginny’s bed, pondering what she had seen from the pensieve yesterday. It was hard to believe that Professor Dumbledore knew Snape was going to kill him, but it made sense to her. Dumbledore was a very old man, and he would value Snape’s and Draco’s lives more than his own. It was exactly like something he would do, give his life for another. Love. He was a supporter of love. He would also see Snape keeping his cover with the Death Eaters important. It would also explain why Dumbledore had chosen this year to explain Voldemort to Harry, chosen this year to teach him how to destroy him. It all made sense, but even through her sensible understanding, she was having a hard time believing it. Poking his head in, Ron disrupted her thoughts.
“Hermione? Almost everyone has left. Harry and Lupin left to recruit Neville, dad had to go to work, Tonks went to Hogwarts and mum took Ginny shopping. She’s still in a right state and mum is trying to help her feel better. Anyway, we’re to stay here and guard over Snape, along with Bill. Fleur is also at work. Bill’s sitting outside the door to Snape’s room right now; he said he’ll call us when he needs us. Fancy some tea?” He came in the room properly now and she saw he was carrying a tray with a tea pot and two cups. A plate with blueberry biscuits was about to fall from the tray, Ron’s hands seemed to be shaking a little.
“Sure, I’ll take some tea, I could use a little pick me up,” she came to the small dressing table and moved Ginny’s toiletries over and helped Ron by taking the biscuits from the tray. They sat down across from each other. Smiling, he poured her some tea and was about to pass her a sugar cube when an unfamiliar, very large screech owl came soaring into the room. It landed right next to Hermione, who turned a deep shade of red as she untied the letter attached to its leg. She seemed to recognize the owl, although Ron didn’t.
“From your parents?” He asked breezily, dropping the sugar in her teacup.
“Um, no, actually, it’s from, Vfvict.”
“From who? I didn’t catch that.”
“Viktor. It’s from Viktor. This is his owl, Snitch.” Ron’s face turned the same shade as Hermione’s blush, although he wasn’t blushing. Anger spread over his face, no freckle was visible through the red. If it hadn’t been for his eyes, his face would have blended in quite well with his hair. Looking away, he seemed to get himself somewhat under control.
“Snitch? Very creative, the Bulgarian bonbon.”
“Ron, you know I write to him, I honestly don’t know why you’re getting so upset.”
“I’m not upset, I just wish you didn’t write to him,” Ron’s face was returning to his normal color and he looked at her directly now. He had to tell her, he had to let her know his feelings. All of a sudden, he couldn’t hide them anymore. She spoke before he could though.
“Ron, I don’t have feelings for Viktor. I enjoy his company, and it’s nice to have a pen pal from another country, but I only have friendship in mind. I can assure you that if he wants more, he’s not going to get it. Not from me anyway,” she was blushing again, but kept her gaze on him.
“I know you don’t have feelings for him. It’s just hard to see someone like him have feelings for you. He can offer you the world. He’s famous, he’s rich, and he’s older. I can’t give you half of what he could.” Ron was barely speaking above a whisper, but she heard every word.
“Ron, I don’t want the world. I want you,” her voice was even softer than his. She rose from her seat and went to his side. He turned to her.
“You do? You want me?” She nodded, smiling at his shaking voice. “Oh Hermione, all I’ve ever wanted was you.” Tentatively he put his arm around her waist and with his other hand, wiped away the tears streaming down her face. “Why are you crying?”
“Because of you, because I’ve waited so long for this moment, and now that it’s here, it’s wonderful and overwhelming all at once.” His hand stroked her cheek and he pulled her close. Looking at her for a long moment, he tilted her chin toward his face. Her mouth was soft and sweet. She tasted so good, like peppermint. The kiss lingered only for a moment. He pulled back, still looking in her eyes, searching for her feelings. He knew she wanted it too. Wrapping both arms around her, he pulled her as close as possible. Her arms around his neck, this kiss was powerful. Strong, urgent, and full. He licked her lips slightly, wanting more and she let him in. This kiss went on for a long time before they pulled apart. His eyes were flashing with intense emotion, hers soft with gentle expression.
“Hermione, I love you,” he whispered in her ear and lightly kissed her neck.
“I love you too, Ron,” she returned the words and smiled at him. This time, she pulled him into a kiss, parting only when they heard Harry’s voice calling them. “He’s back with Neville. Are we going to tell him?”
“Yes, I will tell him tonight. It might be hard for him, seeing as he’s really hurting over Ginny right now, but I think it will hurt him more in the long run if we keep it from him,” she nodded in agreement and holding hands, they made their way to the kitchen. Ron dropped her hand before opening the kitchen door and letting her in first.
“Hi Neville!” She greeted him with a swift hug and sat down beside him.
“Hullo Hermione, Ron,” Neville shook hands with Ron.
“Have a good summer Neville?” Ron asked, helping himself to some Butterbeer from the fridge.
“It’s been alright, nothing really to speak of.” Neville turned to Hermione and they began talking animatedly about S.P.E.W. Harry was right; she did kiss him on the cheek when he told her about his Gran paying her house elf, Fink. Lupin joined in the discussion and Ron decided now was a good time to talk with Harry about Hermione.
“Harry? Can I talk to you, privately?”
“Sure but I left my bag at headquarters, so can we floo there and talk?” They left the kitchen and began walked through the house, to the fireplace and flooed to headquarters. McGonagall, Kingsley, and Moody were all sitting around the table, talking. Ron and Harry said their hellos and left the room, walking silently through the house. You couldn’t talk in the hallway, or Mrs. Black would wake up and start yelling. They found themselves in a room, facing the Black Family Tree. Both stared absentmindedly at it for a few minutes and then Ron spoke.
“I need to tell you something mate,” he was nervous, so Harry turned to him and smiled.
“You can talk to me about anything, you know that.”
“Right, well, for a while now I’ve, well, I’ve sort of, well, had feelings…”
“For Hermione,” Harry had to laugh at the look on Ron’s face. “You’re not too good at hiding it mate.” Ron laughed too and felt much more at ease. “Why are you stuttering around like a humungous git? Afraid to tell me?” Laughter danced in Harry’s eyes, and Ron punched him on the arm.
“Nervous about telling you, yeah. Anyway, tonight we kissed and I told her I loved her. She said she loved me too. So, we’re together now, officially.”
“Fantastic! I’m so happy for you!” Ron saw the genuine expression on Harry’s face and knew he meant every word. “Promise me on thing though?” Ron nodded. “I get to be godfather to your first born!”
“Nah, by then you’ll have come to your senses, married Ginny, and you’ll be the kid’s uncle!” Ron clapped his hand over his mouth, hoping beyond hope that maybe he hadn’t really said that. Harry was quiet for a minute, but when he spoke, he wasn’t angry, just sad.
“I hope so. I want to be with her so bad. I’m scared to though. What if something happened to her? Because of me? Because of my love for her?”
“Honestly, mate, I think it might help you to have another love in your life. Didn’t Dumbledore always say the power you had that you-know-who didn’t have was love? Maybe it would help you to have her in your life.” Harry and Ron both stood, marveling at Ron’s accurate statement.
“When did you get to be so poetic and sensitive, not to mention, smart?”
“I told you, I’ve been hanging around Hermione too long!” Still thinking about what Ron had said, Harry began examining the Black Family Tree. His eyes fell on the burn mark where Sirius’ name had been. His eyes followed to the right of his name. Regulus Black, died in 1979. It all came flooding back to him, like he had talked with Sirius yesterday.
“Ron! Regulus Black! Do you remember finding a locket here before? When we were cleaning? It was really heavy and it wouldn’t open? Do you remember it?”
“Yes,” the magnitude of Harry’s words were lost on Ron.
“Do you remember what we did with it?”
“I expect Kreacher hid it somewhere.”
“Yes?” Kreacher appeared out of thin air.
“I want you to bring me all the jewelry left in this house. ALL OF IT. I’ll be in the kitchen. I want anything you’ve saved while we were purging too, ALL OF IT Kreacher! Do not leave anything out!”
“Yes Master.” Harry bolted toward the kitchen, Ron hot on his tail, still slightly confused. When they entered, all eyes looked alarmed at the hurried way Harry was behaving. He threw some floo powder in the fireplace without saying anything to anyone, stuck his head in, had a hurried conversation and came out again. After coming out, he was closely followed by Lupin, Neville, and Hermione. Bill remained at The Burrow to guard Snape.
“Harry? What’s the emergency?” Lupin asked, dusting soot off his robes.
“Do you know what Regulus Black’s middle name was?”
“I think it was Arcturicus. No, that’s not right, something like that though.”
“Something that begins with A? Meaning his initials would be R.A.B.?” Recognition appeared on all faces in the room, Neville alone looked confused. He hadn’t been informed about the Horcruxes yet. Before anyone could speak, Kreacher entered carrying a large bag and a smaller box, a box that appeared to be a jewelry box. “Is this everything Kreacher?”
“No Master, I have to make another trip to carry it all,” the hatred of his voice was pronounced. Harry ignored him and began rummaging through the jewelry box. Not finding what he was looking for, he turned to the bag Kreacher brought in. He stopped his furious rummaging, and slowly pulled something out of the bag. Harry held out the gold locket for all to see, turning it over so that everyone could see the ornate serpentine S on the front.
“No need for another load Kreacher, I found what I needed. Return to Hogwarts, tell no one we talked or that you were here today,” He looked at each person in the room in turn; Hermione seemed to be holding her breath. “This is it. This is the locket.”
“Are you certain?” McGonagall asked.
“Yes, I saw it on Merope Gaunt, Voldemort’s mother, in the pensieve. This is a horcrux. We have to destroy it.” Neville, still looking confused, turned to Ron. Quietly, Ron gave him a short version of what was going on. “How though? How do you destroy one? We need Bill.” Lupin stood, went to the fireplace, left, and in a few moment, Bill returned. Lupin obviously took his place guarding Snape.
“You found the locket?”
“Yes, have you any idea how to destroy it?”
“Well, they’re hard to destroy. There is a spell, but it’s complicated and requires an unusual plant. You have to place the object on the leaves of a Destitute Dragon Darmera. It’s a magical breed of a muggle Umbrella plant. Once you have the plant, there is an incantation and then the leaves will form around the object, and burn it. All that will be left is ashes. Unfortunately, the plant is apparently hard to come by. There is also a potion that will destroy anything dipped in it, but it’s very complicated and the ingredients are also difficult to find.” Bill seemed defeated, but Neville spoke up.
“Professor Sprout has a Destitute Dragon Darmera. She and I were experimenting with them last term. I could get one from her easily.”
“Neville, I knew we needed you!” Grinning from ear to ear, Harry turned to McGonagall. “Can you and Neville go now and get the plant? We need to destroy this now if we can.” They left, and Harry placed the locket on the table. “I can’t believe we found that one so quickly and easily. Now if we can just find the others.” Harry smiled, not a happy smile, but a triumphant smile. He was going to rid the world of Voldemort. He has well on his way.
Neville and McGonagall returned after about thirty minutes. Bill took over from there, placing the locket on the plant, and muttering under his breath. Just as he said it would, the leaves of the plant took form around the locket and with a flash of green light; all that was left were ashes. It was done. Another piece of Voldemort’s soul was destroyed.
“Only three more left to find,” Harry said this to himself. “Then we’ll face each other for the last time Tom Riddle.”
I took the date for Regulus' date of death from the Black Family Tree JKR released. I hope you enjoyed it! Please leave feedback!
Re: With Open Arms
The Burrow was a fury of activity. People were running about, talking loudly, some giving orders. Mrs. Weasley was beside herself, running amuck with muggle curlers in her hair and her apron over her pajamas. It was Bill and Fleur’s wedding day. Harry was in Ron’s room, along with Ron, Fred and George. Since Fleur was only having two bridesmaids, Bill was only having two groomsmen. He chose his father as best man, and Charlie as his other. He decided to have Arthur because he wasn’t going to have Percy and he didn’t feel like he could chose between Ron, Fred, and George. Those three, along with Harry, were going to be ushers. Seating the guests. Hermione was keeping Fleur’s guestbook, since she was practically her sister-in-law already. It was a nice day, beautiful weather. An arch had been placed in the yard and a magical garden had been created by Tonks that morning. The wedding was to be at dusk, and fairies were going to float around, providing light. It was going to be beautiful.
“Why do we have to wear muggle suits?” Fred was complaining. He had wanted to wear his magenta robes but Fleur and his mother had said absolutely not.
“Because this is a special day and I won’t have you ruining it with your silly outfits!” George put on an exact impression of Mrs. Weasley. The boys laughed. As they were gaining control, Mr. Weasley walked in, looking absolutely ecstatic.
“Did you see my outfit? It’s muggle formal wear, called a Texsodo,” He was pulling on his bow tie and looked as happy as a kid in a candy store.
“It’s a tuxedo Mr. Weasley,” Harry corrected him kindly. He didn’t want him embarrassing himself in front of Fleur’s fancy French relatives. “I heard Fleur telling Hermione that we are all wearing muggle wear because in France it’s traditional for weddings,” Harry shrugged. He would much rather be in dress robes. They were much cooler than this stuffy black suit he was in. Oh well, he would do anything for any of the Weasley’s.
“It’s starting, it’s time to seat people,” Mrs. Weasley came in, finally in her dress. She was wearing a black dress, off the shoulder and her red hair was pulled up halfway with curls around her face. All the men acknowledged her, complementing her, and Harry and the Weasley boys headed out to seat people.
It turned out to be sort of fun to be an usher. Harry got to see so many people. He seated Madame Maxime, who was accompanied by Hagrid. He looked so small in between the two large people. He also seated Tonks, Lupin walked behind them. Lupin had on a spanking new suit today. Tonks must have bought it for him. Harry inwardly thought how glad he was to see Lupin with something nice and new. He deserved it. He also seated Professor McGonagall and much to Ron’s displeasure, Madame Rosmerta. Finally all the guests were seated, and the wedding was to begin. Harry was on the lookout for a prank from Fred and George. He was surprised nothing happened while they were seating people, so he knew something would happen at some point. Hopefully they would at least wait until the reception. He took his seat next to Ron, Hermione joining them before the processional started. Mr. Weasley seated Mrs. Weasley and Fleur’s father seated her mother. The slow music was lulling and Harry realized he was tired. He heard Hermione gasp and looked up. Directly into the eyes of the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.
Ginny had on a strapless gold dress. Her long red hair was pulled up, completely off her face, with only a few wisps coming loose. She held a bouquet of red roses. She looked like an angel. A beautiful, drop dead gorgeous, angel. Before he knew it, the wedding was over. He hadn’t heard a word of the vows or anything. He only had eyes for Ginny.
The reception was going well. Nothing too much has happened, people were dancing. Harry was still on the lookout for a prank from the twins, although so far nothing had happened. The dance floor was full. Ron was holding Hermione close, looking like he never wanted to let her go. So far Harry hadn’t danced with anyone. He was sitting still, observing the scene. Well, observing Ginny. Right now she was dancing with Fred. They were acting goofy, waltzing dramatically around the dance floor. Harry so wanted to dance with her. He was scared to ask her though. He’d been staying at the same house with her for two weeks now, and the only thing he had said to her was “please pass the gravy.” He and Ron had been talking about her and their relationship a lot over the last few days. Harry agreed with Ron that he needed Ginny. He needed her love. Someone tapped his shoulder and he looked up. Ron was offering him a drink. He took it and kept watching Ginny. The slow song had ended and she was now standing in a group of redheaded people. Harry had met all of them, they were all Weasley relatives, but he didn’t remember their names. She looked up and looked right into his eyes. Instead of looking away, he stared her down and walked toward her. Another slow song started. Without saying anything he offered her his hand. She took it and they walked onto the dance floor. Inhaling her floral scent, he pulled her even closer. They were the only two people on the dance floor, as far as Harry could see. Once the song ended, just as he had that night they got together, he wordlessly motioned away from the reception. She nodded and they went for a walk.
“Ron? Where are Harry and Ginny?” Hermione was back from “freshening up” whatever that meant. Ron wasn’t sure what girls meant when they said that.
“Actually, they went for a walk,” they shared a knowing look and sat in comfortable silence. Different people came round to their table. Hermione enjoyed talking with Tonks about what they wanted their weddings to be like. Lupin and Ron shared amused looks while the girls gushed about center pieces, dresses and music. After about an hour, Harry and Ginny emerged from the house holding hands. Both looked happier than they had been all summer. “Well, it’s about time you two came to your senses. And coming from me, you know you belong together mate, because she’s my little sister!” Laughing, Ginny joined the conversation about weddings and Harry, Ron, and Lupin began discussing Quidditch. As Lupin was telling a story about James and his Quidditch skills, Harry thought to himself that it was nice to talk about something other than the war. Soon enough he would be fighting again, but right now, as he took Ginny’s hand, it was comforting to know he had those he loved around him. Love was going to save him. Love was going to conquer all.
I know, the ending sucks and is kinda cheesy. Sorry. I also didn't want to go into too much detail about Harry and Ginny getting together again, although more about their actual conversation will come out in future posts. Hope you enjoyed this, even though it was pretty short and full of fluff. Oh well, I think a little fluff is good sometimes! Please leave feedback! I would really appreciate it!
Re: With Open Arms
At the beginning of this story, I made a statement that these characters were not my own, but J. K. Rowling's. I do not want to be disrespectful of her masterful writing. That being said, this is the post where this fic takes a turn I doubt any of you saw coming. I'm going a little over the deep end here, and just wanted to state again that no one could ever even come close to writing these characters or the world they live in, as well as she does. I wouldn't want anyone too. Thanks for reading!
Walking hand in hand with Harry, into the house, I knew this was the moment I had been hoping for since the funeral. We were going to have the discussion about us. About our future. Together. I would not rest until he saw that we belonged together. I was not going let him be all noble and try and save me. I needed to save him. From himself. We reached my bedroom and I decided it would be best not to sit on the bed. Too awkward. We still hadn’t spoken and I wanted to let him speak first. So, I just plopped down on the floor. Letting go of my hand he sat opposite me, leaning nervously against my bed. For a long moment he just looked at his hands. Once he looked up at me, I saw tears in his bright green eyes.
“Gen, I’m so sorry. I am just so sorry,” it took all the strength of my being not to move over to him, pull him in my arms and snog him senseless, so I just stayed put. I did reach my hand out to him though. He took it and I could tell he was nervous. “I know I hurt you and I’m so sorry. I was only trying to protect you. I’ve been talking with Ron about this all summer,” I had to hold back laughter at this; I mean honestly, Ron knows nothing about women. “He’s really helped me to see that I need you. I need to know you’re mine. Ginny, I love you.” I think my heart stopped beating at this point. His eyes were longing, looking hopeful and as little scared.
“I love you too,” I said quietly. I almost couldn’t get the words out. A tear slid down Harry’s face and he smiled.
“I was hoping you would say that. See Gin, I’ve been struggling within my self about you. Part of me, a big part, wants to distance myself from you so that I know you’re safe. But, Ron reminded me that the power I have over Voldemort is the ability to love. I need people to love and I need people around me who love me. I’ve thought so much about avenging my parent’s death and destroying the man who took so many people I loved away from me. All along I’ve thought I was fighting for them. Mum, Dad, Sirius, Dumbledore, but in reality, they are much more of a driving force. I’m not fighting for those I’ve lost. I’m fighting for those I never want to lose. You, Ron, Hermione, are the main people I’m fighting for. I don’t know what I would do without the three of you.” Here he paused and looked away. I still wanted him to talk; I could sense he needed to say more. “I want to be with you again Ginny. I want you to be the one who I’m coming home too, the one who will love me. Not because I’m famous or because I’m powerful, but because you love me, Harry. I know you will be that person. You’re the only person who will love me that way. Ron and Hermione love me for who I am, but not the same way you do. They love each other the way I want you to love me. I’m going to be fighting him soon, Ginny. Very soon I will stand, face to face with Voldemort. I want you to promise me something.”
“Promise you won’t ask where I’m going when I leave. Promise you won’t follow me or attempt to come. Promise me you’ll stay at Hogwarts and learn all there is to learn about magic. Please, promise me you’ll keep yourself safe.” I started to tell him that I would not make any such promise, that I would be fighting along side him, but he spoke up first. “In return for this promise, I’ll make you two promises. I promise to call on you when I need you. Be it a battle or something else, when I need backup, I’ll call on you. I will also promise to marry you as soon as he’s gone. Assuming you’ll have me, of course.” He smiled and moved over, sitting right next to me. Now it was my turn to cry, my turn to look away for a moment. Gaining my composure, I held his hand tightly and looked in his eyes.
“I promise I’ll be there to help. I promise I’ll keep myself as safe as someone fighting Voldemort can. I promise to love you, to always be there for you. I promise to never leave you. I also promise I won’t question you too much when you leave, but at times, I might have to follow. I promise I’ll learn all I can about magic, for us. For our future. Oh, and of course I’ll have you Harry. I wouldn’t, couldn’t have anyone else.” He looked like he was going to argue, but I leaned in and kissed him before he could. I completely lost track of time, losing myself in him.
Ginny smiled to herself, completely reliving the experience she had last night. She was back with Harry, and better than that alone, he said he loved her. He said he wanted to marry her. Giggling a little to herself, she checked her appearance one more time in the mirror and headed down to breakfast. Harry smiled as she entered, standing to greet her.
“Good morning,” he gently kissed her forehead, seemingly unaware at her parents and older brother were looking on.
“Morning,” she sat down in between her boyfriend and father, who seemed unusually interested in his toast. She laughed out loud and Ron gave her a sheepish grin, also interested in his breakfast.
“We’re going to headquarters tonight for a meeting. Don’t even ask Ginny, you’re not coming to the meeting. You’re going to come with us, we’re not leaving you here alone, but you’ll have to take something to read in the other room,” Mrs. Weasley didn’t even give Ginny a chance to retort this statement by her father, she cut her dead silent with one look. Her father however, took a kind expression and said, “If the war is still going on dear, we will be more than willing for you to join. You’re just not of age.”
“Harry’s not of age!”
“He will be in a week, so that argument will get you no where.” She felt like pouting, but feeling Harry’s hand on her knee, she thought better of her childish behavior and mumbled an apology to her parents. Breakfast was basically boring, nothing much happened except for Hermione getting a letter from her parents.
After breakfast, Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny all sat around in Ron’s room. Nothing was going on today. The trio had decided not to tell Ginny about the horcruxes, seeing as she wasn’t a member of the Order and Harry thought the less she knew, the safer she would be. So, no research was going on while still at the Burrow.
The day was spent lounging around, helping Mrs. Weasley with some household chores and even playing some exploding snap. Harry and Ron both took a turn guarding over Snape, who said he was perfectly willing to stay at the Burrow until the Order believed him. He wasn’t acting like the Snape Harry knew which worried him somewhat. So, the day was enjoyable, without much going on. Harry thought, not for the first time, that he was glad to have some time with his friends, just to feel like a normal student. He was enjoying his time being lazy and leaving for Headquarters came all too soon.
Once arriving, Harry sat to talk with Lupin about Snape, while Hermione and Tonks discussed possible horcrux locations. Ginny had, to everyone’s shock, brought some muggle magazines along and went quietly into the living room. Ron and Bill were discussing the safest way for the trio to get to Godric’s Hollow. They were planning to leave in the morning for Harry’s childhood, hiding place, home.
Before the meeting could start however, something happened that Harry had heard other Order members discuss, and Lupin was in the process of teaching the trio and Neville. A silvery, smoky, Flamingo patronus came gallivanting through the door. Harry knew the Order members communicated with their patronuses, but was still learning how to do this, and how to read the message sent. He looked around the room and saw a varied array of expressions. Ron, Hermione and Neville seemed interested, but, like Harry didn’t know exactly what was going on. Some of the members looked confused and he thought he heard Tonks whisper to Kingsley, “Whose is that?” Lupin however, looked paler than Harry had ever seen. He looked like he had scene a ghost. Moody also looked shocked beyond shocked, and spoke the message aloud.
“Help, the only message this patronus is carrying is, help.” He looked at Lupin, who still hadn’t recovered.
“Mad-Eye, who’s patronus is that? What was it, a flamingo?” Tonks voiced her question to Moody, who didn’t answer, but looked a Lupin. Tonks, looking at her boyfriend with concern, walked over to him. “Remus? Are you alright? Who’s was that?” She asked again. When Lupin spoke he was quiet and his voice dripped disbelief.
“Amelia Carpenter’s,” at this, Neville nearly fell off his chair and knocked over a steaming mug of tea. He didn’t even seem to notice the scalding liquid hit his leg.
“Neville, are you alright?” Hermione went to help him up, vanishing the tea with her wand. Turning to Lupin, she said, “Who is Amelia Carpenter?” Lupin didn’t respond, instead, Neville spoke up quietly.
“My aunt, who has been missing for sixteen years next week.”
Thanks so much for reading! Please leave feedback!!
Last edited by nevillesgal; September 4th, 2006 at 6:02 pm.
Re: With Open Arms
I tend not to get a lot of feedback for thisw story, so if you read it and haven't or don't normally leave feedback, I would really appreciate it. Thank you LikeLuna for leaving feedback, again for spotlighting my story. I am working furiously on the next few posts right now, so I might be updating often. I'm trying to keep it up to date while school isn't too busy, because before long I'll be lucky to get on here at all! Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy it.
No one said anything for a few minutes. Neville seemed lost in his thoughts; Lupin looked as if he might be sick at any moment. Tonks was holding his hand, but he seemed to have forgotten she was there. Neville spoke up, finding his voice once again.
“My aunt, Amelia, was my mother’s younger sister. She was an Unspeakable. I don’t know much about her. My grandparents on my mum’s side died when I was very young, Gramps when I was three and Grammy when I was four. I don’t remember them too well. Gran didn’t know much about Amelia, she knew mum much better, but she did know that she was an Unspeakable. What she did know, she knew because Amelia lived with my other aunt, my dad’s younger sister, Caroline.” He seemed to have said all he knew, or at least, all he could get out, so Lupin took over.
“Amelia and Caroline were Lily’s two best friends. Amelia and Sirius were engaged to be married before she disappeared. Right after her disappearance, things with the war really began to pick up, so her disappearance was written off to be war related. I’m not saying the ministry and the Order didn’t take action, we did, but she was nowhere to be found. I keep saying “she” but really I should be saying “they.” Caroline Longbottom also went missing the same night as Amelia. From what we could tell, they ambushed them in their flat and took them. No trace, no nothing. We had no direct suspects, although we assumed Death Eater involvement. They were both in the Order, active members. Caroline was a healer at St. Mungo’s and as Neville said, Amelia was an Unspeakable. Caroline was my girlfriend. We started dating in our sixth year at Hogwarts…” he trailed off. Tonks looked taken aback, but did not let go of his hand. She was muttering under her breath. In the silence that filled the room, she could be heard.
“Caroline Longbottom, why is that name so familiar to me?”
“You spent time with her as a child sweetheart,” Lupin turned and pulled her close to him, as if letting her know she was the one he wanted, no matter what. “Sirius and Andromeda were close as young adults so you saw them quite often. Amelia and Sirius would bring Caroline when they visited you because she loved children and really got a kick out of you.
Plus, she would keep you some while your parents, Sirius, and Amelia would go to dinner. Boy, she loved you. I wish she could see you now, she would be so happy with how you turned out.” He smiled at her and then seemed to lose himself in thought again.
“But, why is Amelia asking for help now? Where is she? Can we save her?” Harry asked, thinking it would be wonderful to meet more people who knew his parents. He felt a deep connection with this woman already. If she was his mother’s best friend, and Sirius’ fiancée, she had to be someone Harry would love. “We need to save her!” He said with more urgency.
“We want to Potter, but her message was lacking a lot of information. While it was fully formed, it was weak. I have no clue where to begin looking for her,” Moody growled from his spot in the corner. Most of the other Order members were sitting quietly, not really knowing what to say.
“Well, if Death Eaters took her, then do you suppose they still have her?” As was so often, Hermione’s voice spoke reason and logic.
“It’s possible,” Moody said, “although have they just kept her locked up for sixteen years? Who would have a place to keep her? How could they have accomplished it?” All of a sudden, Lupin looked up with a fire in his eyes Harry had never seen before. This was the man who was calm, the other voice of reason in the group. He rose quickly and Harry thought he heard him curse under his breath. He jumped into the fireplace and said “The Burrow!” and was out of site. Harry followed, as did Ron. Everyone else just stayed stock still, as if in shock.
“We’ll just wait for a report from Remus then,” Moody’s growl was louder this time. “I think I know who he was going to talk to.”
Once at the Burrow, Lupin flew up the stairs, moving with quick motions and a fury that was uncharacteristic of him. Mr. Weasley saw him coming down the fall and moved from the door, which Lupin blasted off its hinges with a powerful spell. Harry and the two Weasley’s entered Percy’s room behind him, and all four pairs of eyes bored into Snape, who looked perplexed by this sudden entrance. Lupin didn’t waste words or time, but hung Snape upside down by his ankle, fire roaring in his eyes.
“WHERE IS SHE?” He bellowed, anger the only tone in his voice.
“Who? Lupin you are losing it, reverting to your old ways. Just like that arrogant Potter…” at the mention of his father Harry started to move forward, thinking about using an unforgivable curse on Snape just for the sake of causing him pain, but Ron and Mr. Weasley both held his shoulders.
“WHAT DO YOU MEAN WHO? AMELIA! WHERE IS SHE?”
“Amelia? Who?” Snape’s voice was cold and distant, but he didn’t seem to know who Lupin was talking about.
“AMELIA CARPENTER! YOU KNOW WHO SHE IS! YOU TORTURED HER ONE AFTERNOON IN THE TRANSFIGURATION HALLWAY, REMEMBER? I KNOW YOU KNOW WHO I’M TALKING ABOUT!” Harry had never seen him act this way and knew right now he needed to let these old school rivals lash it out.
“Carpenter? Oh yes, I do remember her. Running around the school with Black, just as arrogant as he was too, I think the two of them together were worse than Potter,” he threw Harry a glance, smirking. “I thought she disappeared? I assumed her dead.” His eyes actually looked like he was finding this situation amusing.
“WELL, FOR SOMEONE WHO’S DEAD SHE SURE CAST A PERFECT PATRONUS ASKING FOR HELP TONIGHT!” Snape’s eyes grew wide and it was obvious he was surprised by this knowledge. “WHERE IS SHE? WHERE IS HE KEEPING HER?”
“Lupin, I can assure you I don’t know,” Snape’s words were almost cruel. For someone who was supposed to be on their side, supposed to be proving he was, he seemed cold hearted. Lupin let him down. Harry wasn’t sure why he chose that moment to do so, but the Marauder and the Traitor sat across from each other, looks of pure loathing on their faces.
“Snivellus,” Snape looked up at Lupin and his eyes flashed. Lupin raised his eye brows, daring Snape to respond, “You may or may not be a true Death Eater at this present moment, but you were eighteen years ago. You had to have known something about her disappearance. You have to know something and I’m giving you one minute to tell me where she is, or give me any idea you might have about her whereabouts. Tell me now.” Lupin, looking at his old classmate, his enemy, and the usual look of kindness and patience was not there. His eyes said now was not the time to press me. Now is not the time to play games. Harry couldn’t remember Lupin ever referring to Snape as “Snivellus,” and he knew he only said it to get a reaction from Snape. He wanted him to remember that he was the one with the power right now. Snape was at his mercy, wandless, and Lupin wanted him to remember that. With utmost loathing, Snape’s voice came out shaky, but not his usual drawl. This voice seemed almost fearful, except Harry knew Snape wouldn’t be afraid. Or would he?
“I was not told of any plan to kidnap Amelia, Lupin,” there was so much hatred in his voice and Harry saw, not for the first time, the distrust and complete abhorrence between his former Potions Master and the Marauder before him. They seemed to radiate revulsion at the mere sight of each other. “But, I did hear that someone close to the Potter’s knew they were being betrayed. I didn’t know which friend of Potter had turned on him, as the Dark Lord does not always reveal his followers to each other. I did know that someone found out. Someone who would tell the Potter’s. Someone they might want to silence. I would ask Wormtail if I were you,” his voice no longer had a trance of fear, but was sarcastic and cold. This seemed to satisfy Lupin because he stood. Looking over his shoulder at Snape, he paused.
“Come on Snape, you’re coming with me,” it wasn’t a request. Snape seemed to understand this, as he carefully followed him out the door.
I'm begging you...PLEASE leave feedback!!!!
Last edited by nevillesgal; September 4th, 2006 at 6:03 pm.
Re: With Open Arms
Here is the next bit. I might post more later today. I'm getting close to the end of the fic. Hope you enjoy!
The men left, Lupin holding onto Snape, and apparating out of the house. Mr. Weasley looked at Harry questioningly, and Harry explained the situation. The two of them, along with Ron, headed toward the fireplace. After returning, Mr. Weasley gave a small report about what happened and the Order assumed Lupin and Snape left to speak with Wormtail. The meeting was shot for the night, and the members of the Order left one by one, until only the Weasley’s, Harry, Hermione, Tonks, Neville, and Moody were left. They decided to head to the Burrow, thinking Lupin might return there, so all of them flooed there, and sat around, waiting for Lupin to return. A noise in the hall explained he had returned, although Snape wasn’t with him.
“I left him at Azkaban. The ministry wouldn’t let him stay with me, since he is going to be tried with the murder of Albus Dumbledore. Nothing much will be different than him staying here though, because without Dementors, Azkaban isn’t such a scary place. We’re going to need Snape though, but we’ll talk about that in a minute. I got Peter to tell me what he knew. Amelia didn’t find out about Peter but Caroline did. He said he didn’t know how she found out, but she confronted him. He admitted to being in the group who ambushed them. They took Amelia too because, being an Unspeakable, they thought she could have been of use.” His voice was strained, and his eyes looked more tired than they did even after a full moon. He continued though, sighing heavily and sitting next to Tonks on the sofa, taking her hand in his. “Peter said he didn’t know where they were going to be kept. He said he thought they suspected him of being a traitor to them as well. He said last he saw them, they were being tortured by Bellatrix and Rodolphus Lestrange,” Neville grimaced at the mention of their names and clinched his fists together tightly. No one said anything, everyone was thinking. Ron spoke up.
“Harry? Didn’t you tell me that in our second year, in Knockturn Alley, you overheard Lucius Malfoy say he didn’t want his house to be raided because of so many items that could be incriminating?”
“Yes,” Harry said slowly, processing what Ron was getting at. Hermione spoke up, seemingly a lightbulb going off in her head.
“It would make sense for the Malfoy’s to be involved. They have the space, a huge home, no doubt full of secret passageways and secret rooms. It’s possible the ministry never uncovered all the secrets to the manor.”
“So, you think maybe the Malfoy’s have been keeping her hostage all these years?” Tonks question hung in the air, unanswered for moment, until Mr. Weasley spoke his thoughts.
“Well, we know Lucius was a Death Eater then, and never gave up the ways of evil. Hermione is right about his home, it’s probable there are places to be hidden there, and he and Bellatrix were in-laws, so it’s quite possible she would go to him with her prisoners. What I don’t understand is why are we only hearing from Amelia now? What has kept her quiet for sixteen years? Could she still be a prisoner? Or is she just in hiding?” Everyone was silent again, thinking about the reasons why this was happening. The wheels of his head turning, Harry’s mind somehow landed on Professor Slughorn and he thought about Potions. Potions he had studied and brewed during his sixth year.
“Is it possible she took the Draught of the Living Dead?” After saying the words out loud, Harry knew he was right. Everyone in the room looked at him and looking back at him he saw looks of understanding mixed with angry disbelief. “How long does the draught last?”
“Depends on the strength of the brewing, it can be brewed to last for different lengths of time. If the potion is brewed to its utmost strength, then it can be irreversible. If we’re assuming Snape is telling the truth, and didn’t know, then I can’t think of anyone who would have really known how to brew one strong enough. My guess is someone has been keeping her around, continually brewing the potion, and continuing to make her drink it,” Moody seemed to almost be talking to himself, but the room heard him.
“If someone has kept her alive for sixteen years, there has to be some reason, other than that she was an Unspeakable. If they needed her only for that purpose, then why not wake her up when they were going after the prophecy?”
“Maybe they did ask her then,” Lupin answered Tonks, pulling her close to him again. “I know Amelia, and she wouldn’t tell them anything, no matter what. Plus, she’s most likely confused. Unless someone has kept her up to date, which is unlikely, she may not know the year, or that James, Lily, and Sirius are all gone.”
“Wow, can you imagine not knowing all that has happened?” Ron voiced this and pulled Hermione close to him, mirroring Lupin and Tonks, who were sitting across from them. Ginny, who had remained silent through this whole conversation, probably to keep her parents from remembering she wasn’t supposed to be hearing any of this, finally spoke up. When she spoke, everyone looked, seemingly forgetting she had waited with everyone else for Lupin to return, once the Order came to the Burrow.
“Well, if someone has kept her all this time, how did she all of a sudden cast a patronus? Doesn’t it require a wand? I know I can’t produce one without my wand.”
“Ginny! You shouldn’t be in here!” Mr. Weasley shot her a disapproving look, then with a look of a proud daddy, said, “You can cast a Patronus?” Ginny didn’t leave, just moved over and sat on Harry’s knee.
“Of course, Harry taught us during my fourth year, at D.A. meetings.” Mrs. Weasley was attempting to get her to come without speaking, but Moody stopped her.
“Molly, no need to make her leave now, she’s already heard everything. Plus, she brings up a good point. It’s not impossible to do wandless magic, we all know Dumbledore could, but it’s unlikely that she would be able to. Especially if she was weakened by a potion or spell. She had her wand tonight, when she cast that patronus. There is no doubt in my mind.”
“So, if she had her wand, then why wait until tonight? Couldn’t she have cast it at some other point?”
“Well, sweetheart,” Lupin’s voice was loving when speaking to Tonks, “my guess is someone gave her a wand, maybe her wand, tonight.”
“Someone with a guilty conscience,” Hermione again spoke the most sense.
“Guilty about her kidnapping, or guilty about something else?” Bill asked this, speaking for the first time since returning to the Burrow. Everyone sat, thinking again, and Tonks and Hermione both gasped, and it seemed they had come to the same conclusion, at the same moment.
“Malfoy!” They spoke the name at the same time, but Hermione continued the thought. “He might be feeling guilty about killing Dumbledore,” Ron snorted at this, but she continued, ignoring him. “Harry said that he wasn’t confident in himself, and looked scared by the sight of the Death Eaters. Maybe he wasn’t just scared, maybe he was reconsidering.”
“She’s right. Dumbledore offered to protect him, to care for him and his parents. He offered to save him from becoming a killer. He definitely faltered that night and I feel certain he wouldn’t have killed Dumbledore,” Harry shifted Ginny’s weight to his other leg, keeping an arm firmly wrapped around her waist.
“I wonder if it’s not Draco whose feeling guilty, but someone else in the family?” Mrs. Weasley didn’t normally speak up too much at meetings, she listened and followed directions, but didn’t normally offer much to the conversation. “I knew Narcissa at school. She was stuck up and snobbish, but never had the cruel streak of Lucius and Bella. She was more of a follower, just doing what her family would have wanted. She was scared of her parents and Bella, according to Sirius.”
“Yes, I’ve heard both Sirius and Andromeda say that about her. That she might have stood a chance to fight on the right side, had she not lived in fear of her family. She went with marrying Lucius because her father told her too. He doesn’t really love her, she’s a possession to him,” Lupin sighed and shook his head sadly.
“But even still, why the sudden bravery on her part, wouldn’t she still be afraid of Bella?” Neville’s voiced was even and flat when referring to Bella, but his eyes gave away his true feelings. Anger and loathing.
“Well, without her parents pressuring her, she might have some more confidence, even where Bella is concerned. Especially after all that has happened with Draco this year, and with Lucius in Azkaban, who knows what a mother, desperate to save her family would do,” Mrs. Weasley seemed to be speaking loosely on experience, and everyone nodded. “The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced it was Narcissa, if any of the Malfoy’s, who helped Amelia tonight.”
Please leave feedback! I would really appreciate it! I have the next few chapters worked out already, so if I get some feedback I'll go on and post them. I'm wanting to wind this down soon, since I think only a few people read it anyways. I figure I'll get the next few posts up soon and hopefully get it finished soon too! Hope you enjoy! PLEASE, PLEASE leave some feedback!!!
Last edited by nevillesgal; September 5th, 2006 at 3:27 am.
Re: With Open Arms
Being a member of the Order was exhausting. Tonks, being stubborn and insisting, had left with Lupin to visit her mother. They were going to enlist Andromeda’s help to get to Narcissa. Tonks had a feeling that her mother would have even more insight into her younger sister’s position, and felt it necessary to speak with her about it. Tonks was also insisting she be the one to speak with her aunt before anything else happened. She felt a responsibility for the actions of the Black family, even though they felt no responsibility for her. Harry didn’t really know if any good would come from Tonks’ visit with her mother, but he was going to wait it out. He couldn’t go bombarding the Malfoy manor. As much as he hated to admit it, right now, at the height of the war, he didn’t need to be in open fighting. He had to be saved for Voldemort. In the pit of his stomach, he knew the battle with his enemy was looming over him like a cat about to pounce a mouse. It wouldn’t be long now. Bill and Kingsley were working on looking more in depth into Voldemort’s history, and searching the places he was known to have occupied for information about horcruxes. They were getting closer, Harry could feel it in his bones; the battle would come sooner than he expected. It was his birthday in three days. Even though he had never met her, he had a feeling the day wouldn’t be good unless he knew Amelia was alright. He had a connection with her he didn’t even understand, but he knew he needed her to be safe, knew he needed her fighting with him.
“Let the emergency meeting of the Order of the Phoenix come to Order,” Kingsley stood in front of the group. Dumbledore had always led their meetings, and McGonagall had been taking over since his death, but tonight she was out on official business, so Kingsley was calling the meeting. Without a word, he nodded to Tonks, who faced the group, her hair mousy brown, probably from nervousness.
“Well, the meeting with my mum went well. She helped me understand more about her sisters, and more about Narcissa. Apparently, Aunt Cissy, I’m trying to get used to saying that, cause mum said it would pull her heart strings, wasn’t into pureblood mania like the rest of her family. Mum said she and Cissy often talked about how they wished it would all just end, but when push came to shove, Aunt Cissy went along with her family. Mum hasn’t spoken to or seen her or Bella since she left the house to marry dad. But, Aunt Cissy sent me a gift when I was born, and a note to mum. Nothing major and mum was certain her parents and sister didn’t know anything about the gift, but nevertheless, Cissy sent it. She said she sent an owl for a thank you, and later found out Cissy had been beaten for contacting her. I think she said Sirius told her that, although she didn’t know how he knew. Anyway, she said she can see Cissy, out of all of them, being the one to have some remorse. She said to let her know if we needed anything.”
“OK, thanks Tonks, now we need plan, a way to save Amelia.”
“I think we take Andie’s advice. We appeal to the mother in Narcissa, the family tie she feels with Tonks. Send Tonks in to speak with her, but be close by should she need assistance.”
“I’m not so sure about that Alastor,” Lupin said. “I mean, Bella could be with Narcissa couldn’t she? I doubt she would be too excited to see Tonks, and I don’t doubt she would kill her without thinking twice about it.” Harry had to agree with Lupin, he knew Bella wouldn’t care anything about her niece, just as she hadn’t cared about her cousin.
“Remus, this is the only way. I’m going to morph to look more like the Black side of the family. Mum is certain it will get to Narcissa. She said, knowing her from childhood that she’s most likely on the brink of breaking down anyways, with everything that has happened.”
“I don’t care Nymphadora,” Lupin was pulling out the full name, “you’re not going in alone!” The couple were facing each other, and Tonks was about to retort when Neville spoke up.
“I’ll go with her. I have a score to settle with Bella, and I would rather die at her hands trying to save my aunt, than die waiting close by ‘just in case.’”
“Neville’s right. I have to face my family. I have to prove to them that I’m on the right side and they’re wrong. I’m the redemption for the Black family, and I intend to make sure they know it. I would rather die than leave Amelia there to rot. She was engaged to Sirius, she’s family too.” Tonks looked at Lupin with a stubborn expression, but the look she saw in his eyes wasn’t pleading to hold her back, it was admiration. Nothing more had to be said, she was going, and Neville would be with her.
Neville and Tonks stood on the doorstep of the Malfoy manor. It was easy to find, even through the protections. Andromeda had helped Tonks understand the mindset of a pureblood family and had given her instructions to locate the manor. Malfoy hadn’t changed any of the protections since his father owed the home, and Andromeda had visited many times as a young girl and knew how to get in. Tonks looked at Neville, who nodded silently. He couldn’t help but think it strange how much like a Black Tonks looked tonight. Her hair was black, she had heightened her stature a bit and her nose looked regal and perfect. Before leaving the Order members Remus as commented on how much she looked like Andromeda. That was the plan, to use family familiarity to get to Narcissa. The door opened just a crack and all they could see where a pair of eyes looking right into theirs.
“Nymphadora! Get in here!” Narcissa pulled her niece in and kept looking around in paranoid fashion. “I was wondering how long it would take you to get here.” She paused and took in Tonks’ appearance. “You look just like your mother,” Narcissa’s voice was soft and almost inaudible.
“Aunt Cissy, you were expecting me?”
“Of course I was! They’re in the basement! Come on!” She seemed to have some urgency to her step, but still held onto an air of superiority, so the two Order members followed her down a dark corridor. Neville had his wand at the ready, prepared to send his patronus if need be. Tonks had her wand out too, illuminating the way down the stairs. Narcissa stopped short at a wall. It appeared to Neville to be solid. She turned to him and asked, “Who are you boy?”
“Neville Longbottom,” she gasped and seemed to lose her balance, but Tonks grabbed her arm and helped her up. “I see you’ve heard of me.”
“Well, yes, you and your family,” she spoke quietly; her air of superiority seemed to be slipping. “Oh the damage…”she didn’t finish her thought, but took out her wand and began waving it furiously in front of the wall, muttering to herself. Tonks and Neville were both surprised when the wall slid open slightly, just enough to move through. All three went in, Narcissa first. She reached over and grabbed something from a shelf on the wall. Two something’s, two wands. She stooped and gazed at the floor, counting. After another murmured incantation and some wand movements, the tile on the floor came up and she slid in, followed closely by the other two. For all they knew they were walking deeper into a trap, but it was a risk they had to take. Once they were through the floor, they came upon a door. She performed another spell, and the door swung open to reveal a portrait. Loud and clear she said, “Slytherin!” and the portrait opened, just like the Fat Lady of Gryffindor tower and at long last, there she was.
Amelia Carpenter looked up at the three who came into the room, a confused and freighted look on her face. She shifted in the seat she was chained to and it was Neville’s turn to lose his balance. Amelia was seated, in chains, to a chair. When she shifted her body slightly, he could see there was someone else in chains there, seated directly behind her, chained to her and another chair. Amelia’s face was round, like Neville’s, but the other woman there had a nose exactly like his. He was staring into the faces of both his aunts. Amelia Carpenter and Caroline Longbottom were still very much alive.
“Hurry Nymphadora! Goyle will be here soon to feed the potion to them. Hurry! I would guess you’ve only got a few more minutes!” Both women looked at Tonks; their eyes were round in confusion and possibly recognition. Neville, Tonks, and Narcissa moved quickly to free the women and Narcissa gave them their wands. “Please forgive me. Please, I’m begging you. Have mercy on me and my son when the time comes Nymphadora. Please. I know I’ve never treated you like it, but you’re family. You’re all I have left.” Tonks looked at her incredulously, but didn’t say anything. She grabbed the chair Amelia had been sitting in.
“Portus,” the chair shook slightly and then remained still. Tonks took out her wand and cast her patronus. “Aunt Cissy, thank you for helping us. I’m not sure why you did, but you did the right thing. I’ll remember that at your trial. It won’t be long now,” Kingsley came into the room and took Narcissa away. She didn’t even fight him. She looked at her niece one last time before leaving with Kinglsey. Before he was out the door with her though, Tonks spoke again. “Amelia? Caroline? Neville? We’re going to be taking this port key back to the Burrow. We’ll explain more there.” The other women nodded and took hold of the chair. Before leaving though, Tonks and Neville took out their wands and destroyed the room. Neville left this note behind, where it couldn’t be missed.
We will always rescue our own. Love defeats hate.
They were gone just a moment before Goyle found the state of the room.
I have the next chapter done, so I'm going to go ahead and post it, but not all on one page. I'll post for feedback at the end! Thanks for reading!
Last edited by nevillesgal; September 5th, 2006 at 4:36 am.
Re: With Open Arms
Pacing the kitchen of the Burrow, Lupin was just glad everything seemed to have gone according to plan. Tonks had sent her patronus and Kingsley went in, while the others apparated to the Burrow. Moody stayed behind, just in case something went wrong, but at that point, the rescue plan seemed to have been carried out. He was now waiting for Tonks to arrive with Amelia and Neville. He knew they would be coming by port key. He wanted to see Tonks, to know she was safe. He needed to see her face, hold her, he needed her. A clattering from the hall told him of her arrival. Clumsy little thing. I bet our children won’t be able to walk around properly either. He chuckled in spite of himself and headed toward the living area, where voices could be heard. Once in the door, he stopped short. There, standing not a foot from him was Amelia. She was holding a hand Remus had held many times. The hand of Caroline Longbottom. His breath caught in his throat when he saw her. Why had they kept both of them alive? He was glad they did, but surprised. The girls turned and looked at him. All three looked a little shaken, but moved toward one another and enveloped into a three way hug. Mrs. Weasley broke the silence in the room.
“Well, why don’t I take them upstairs? They will need to rest. I’ve already got a potion to counter the effects of Draught of the Living Dead ready for each of you.” She smiled warmly at the pair and they followed her. Remus turned to Tonks once they left the room and, tears in his eyes, he pulled her close.
“Nothing much. The plan went exactly like we hoped it would. Cissy handed them over to us and went quietly with Kingsley. I didn’t ask for any explanations. She said Goyle was coming back soon so I felt we needed to get out of there as quickly as possible.” She offered a weak smile to Remus and he returned it.
“I love you,” he whispered in her ear. Her grin was no longer weak, but wide and genuine.
“I love you too,” she stood on her toes and kissed him lightly, but couldn’t deepen the kiss because Ron started coughing nervously behind them. Tonks laughed out loud when she turned and realized Ron, Harry, Hermione, Ginny, Neville, and Charlie were all watching them. “Sorry!” The lovebirds left the room for a walk outside, while everyone else went to their respective bedrooms. It was after midnight, so Harry was officially of age now. His seventeenth birthday. He couldn’t believe it had come so fast.
I don’t think I’ve ever felt so nervous. What all do they know? Do they know the year, anything about all that’s going on? I’m going to have to explain to them about Lily, James, Sirius, Frank, Alice, Peter and Harry. I’m not looking forward to answering all their questions.
Lupin arrived at Ginny’s bedroom door. The girls had been sleeping in there since last night, but Mrs. Weasley informed him at lunch that they were awake and asking for him. He paused at the door, his hand shaking slightly on the knob. He knocked softy, heard permission to enter and walked in the room.
Both women were sitting up on the bed, drinking tea and eating biscuits. They resembled school girls having a sleepover, both in pajamas. Amelia’s honey colored hair was still curly and unruly, just like when Remus last saw her. She had it piled on her head right now, pulled off her face entirely. Caroline’s wheat colored hair was falling around her shoulders, long and straight. They had aged very little, a side effect of the Draught. Seeing them brought memories flooding back. Tears in his eyes, he offered up a small smile.
“Remus! Don’t look so horrified at the sight of us! Get over here!” Amelia laughed and Caroline patted the bed across from her. He laughed too. If he couldn’t have the Marauders, these two would be the next choice. He sat on the bed where Caroline had patted. She looked at him for a moment before she spoke.
“So, something big is going on. I can tell. How long have we been out?”
“Sixteen years,” the girls gasped, looking horrified. You have been gone almost exactly sixteen years. You were kidnapped by Death Eaters from your flat. They’ve been keeping you by feeding you Draught of the Living Dead. You slept for most of the time, and when you were awake, you most likely didn’t know what was going on.”
“Remus? Why are you the only one in here? Where are James, Lily, and Sirius?” He knew Caroline would ask, she was always so observant. He looked away to compose himself. Taking a deep breath, he began.
“I wish I didn’t have to tell you this. All three are gone. About three months after your disappearance Peter betrayed James and Lily to Voldemort. He found them and killed James and Lily.”
“What about Harry?”
“Harry survived. Voldemort tried to kill him too, but the curse rebounded at hit Voldemort instead. He lived for thirteen years as nothing, as a mist. He had created a horcrux, which is why he didn’t die when hit with the rebounded killing curse. Harry is the only known survivor of the killing curse. He’s still alive, still fighting. Today he turns seventeen.”
“Harry survived the killing curse?” Both women had put their refreshments away and were completely focused on Lupin. Caroline looked pale, Amelia looked like she might be sick. “What about Sirius?” Amelia looked pained.
“Well, Peter framed Sirius for their murders, and faked his own death. Sirius was found at the scene, with witnesses who said he killed Peter. The ministry sent him to Azkaban without a trial,” Amelia let tears flow freely from her eyes. “After twelve years in Azkaban, Sirius found out that Peter was living in his animagus form with a Wizarding family. The same family whose home you’re in right now. Harry’s best friend was keeping Peter as a pet, right at Hogwarts, one bed away from Harry. Sirius found this out while in Azkaban by getting a hold of a paper with a picture of the family in it. He recognized Peter immediately and knew he had to act. He couldn’t leave Peter right there with Harry. So, he broke out of Prison, lived in his animagus form and finally came face to face with Peter. Harry was also there that night. That year I was teaching at Hogwarts, and I was there too, along with Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, Harry’s best friends. Peter confessed everything that night. Sirius and I were going to kill him, but Harry, being noble and just, like James, spared his life. He was going to hand him over to the dementors. However, the full moon that night changed the plans and when I transformed, Peter got away. The next year Peter assisted Voldemort in returning to his human form, using Harry and killing a school mate of Harry’s in the process. Harry narrowly escaped that night and for another year no one believed Voldemort had returned. Dumbledore believed him of course and reorganized the Order. We have new members now, but some of the old members as well. We used Sirius’ home, he was the last male Black living, Regulus had already died, and so that became our headquarters. That year we fought against the Death Eaters and protected Harry. Severus Snape, who had been fighting with the Order, he was a spy, would keep us updated on their movements. Toward the end of that school year, Voldmort tricked Harry and lured him to the department of mysteries. There, trying to protect and save Harry, Sirius was killed. He was hit with a spell by Bellatrix and fell through the veil.” After this long speech, Lupin looked away for a moment, and gaining composure, looked back at the women, who were both crying silently. Amelia looked up at him and spoke sharply.
“You say Sirius fell through the veil? The veil at the Department of Mysteries?” he nodded, meeting her eyes, comprehension dawning on him. “He’s not dead! You don’t die when you fall through the veil!” Lupin had let the fact that she was an Unspeakable and would of course know about the veil slip his mind. The three sat in silence for a while, Lupin afraid to ask Amelia what did happen beyond the veil. Instead of asking though, he continued the story, telling them all about Snape and explaining about Dumbledore’s death. With much difficulty he also explained about Frank and Alice Longbottom. He ended explaining about his relationship with Tonks, and who she was. Both women were excited that she turned out so well. Caroline had a shadow of sadness when he said he was planning to ask Tonks to marry him, but she was over it in a second. All she wanted was for him to be happy and the look on his face showed he was happy. Happy and in love. The three old school friends sat and talked for hours, with some sadness, but sharing and reliving happy memories as well. Before Lupin left so they could dress for Harry and Neville’s birthday party, they agreed to be nothing but happy tonight. Smiling, he left the room and went to get dressed.
Nervously Amelia and Caroline walked down the hall and to the staircase. Remus was waiting for them and smiled encouragingly.
“It will be fun tonight, and Molly’s a fabulous cook. Don’t fret!” The three friends walked into the kitchen to find several people sitting around a large table, all laughing and enjoying each other. Without asking Amelia knew who Harry was. He looked exactly like James. Neville was also easy to spot because he had his mothers round face and his father’s features. The two were sitting with a boy with red hair, a girl with bushy brown hair, and a redheaded girl. All were smiling and seemed to be enjoying a memory.
“Remember how we had to pick them up and put them in the luggage rack! I’m surprised Crabbe fit to be honest with you,” the redheaded boy was laughing jovially, and clapped Harry on the back. Lupin gave a small cough and all the eyes in the room noticed the new arrivals for the first time. Harry and Neville both stood, quickly followed by the redheaded boy. The girls stayed seated, but smiled warmly at them.
“Amelia, Caroline, I would like you to meet, or, meet as a proper adult, your nephew, Neville Longbottom.” Neville walked slowly to his aunts and both looked at him for a moment, then pulled him into group hug. Wiping tears from her eyes, Caroline said spoke.
“We’re so proud of you Neville! We really are.”
“Yes, so proud! From what Remus has been telling us, you seem to have turned out quite well. Not that I ever had any doubts. I wish we could have seen you grow up though,” Amelia’s voice was soft, and she had tears running down her cheeks.
“I wish that too Aunt Amelia, but I’m just glad you’re here now,” Neville hugged each of his aunts again in turn, then Lupin pointed to Harry.
“This is Harry Potter,” Harry walked over to them and they all stood quietly for a moment.
“Harry, you look so much like your father.”
“You have your mother’s eyes.” They spoke at the same time and then laughed. Amelia continued, “Your mother was the kindest person I’ve ever known. She was wonderful.”
“Your father was a right prat half the time,” everyone laughed, “but brave and loyal the other half. You seem to have inherited good things from both of them. I loved them very much.”
“I loved them too,” Amelia was still crying and pulled Harry into a hug. “I love Sirius more than anything though,” she whispered in his ear. He pulled back and looked at this small woman. She had said “love” not “loved.”
“I loved Sirius too, I really miss him.” Hugging her again, he almost fell over when she whispered to him again.
“We might be able to do something about that.” She winked at him and he took that to mean they could talk later. Lupin began walking around the room, pointing at the others.
“These two redheads are Ron and Ginny Weasley, brother and sister. This is their parent’s home. This is Hermione Granger. I told you about all three of them. Hermione and Ron are Harry’s best friends and Ginny is his girlfriend.” They all said hello and Ginny stood up, flipping her hair behind her and taking Harry’s hand.
“Everyone is in the backyard, ready to celebrate those two,” she pointed at Harry and Neville with a smile, “becoming of age.” Together they all headed into the yard. Caroline was surprised at how many people had shown up for a teenagers birthday party. She noticed that there weren’t any teenagers except the ones she had already met. Lupin walked over to a girl with bright pink hair and kissed her gently before turning her to meet his long lost friends.
“This is Nymphadora Tonks, who goes only by Tonks. Tonks, this is Caroline Longbottom and Amelia Carpenter.”
“Tonks, thanks so much for rescuing us!” Caroline seemed genuinely happy to meet her.
“Well, I had to stand up to my wretched family!” The girls laughed and chatted for a while about her parents and Sirius. Lupin got occupied with Molly, trying to work out a table arrangement or something, so Tonks took the girls around to meet everyone.
“Fred and George Weasley.”
“You remember Alastor Moody, right?”
“Bill and Fleur Weasley.”
“Hagrid, I suppose you know him though?”
“Mundungus Fletcher, oh you know him as well?”
“Kingsley Shacklebolt, oh, I forgot, you know him too!”
“Arthur and Molly Weasley, this is their home.”
“Minerva McGonagall, you know her though, right?”
That was everyone for now, and Amelia found her head swimming.
“There sure are a lot of Weasley’s huh?” Tonks laughed.
“Yeah, Arthur and Molly have seven children. One of them isn’t here, Percy. You might meet him eventually, but he won’t be here today.” The party was in full swing, with people on the dance floor, laughing and enjoying the evening. Amelia was having fun, but she couldn’t help but wish Sirius was there. James and Lily too, she even found herself missing Peter. Of course, he was the reason the others weren’t here so she needed to get over that real quick. She just wasn’t used to her best friends not being here. She sat at a table watching everyone dancing. She wanted so much to have Sirius hold her again. She missed him. She was lost in her thoughts when she saw a shadow in front of her.
“Aunt Amelia? Would you like to dance?” Neville was holding out his hand to her and she took it with a smile. She hadn’t realized she was the only person there sitting alone. She had been so absorbed in her thoughts. While dancing with Neville she was shocked to see Caroline with one of the Weasley’s. Charlie, she thought was his name. Care seemed to be enjoying herself. The evening continued like this for several hours, right at the end people making speeches about Harry and Neville and how wonderful they both were. It certainly sounded as though the two boys were the wonderful wizards and her heart was happy that both had turned out so well, despite not having their parents around. The evening was winding down and Amelia felt tired. She walked into the kitchen and found Remus, Caroline, Tonks, and Kingsley sitting around the table, talking. Right behind her was Neville, Harry, and Ron. The four newcomers to the conversation all took seats around the table.
“Kingsley was just giving us a report about his interrogation with Narcissa, but we can talk about it later. We don’t want to ruin your celebration with shop talk.” Lupin smiled at Harry and Neville.
“No, please, I want to know what happened,” Harry looked to Neville, who nodded.
“Alright, I’ll continue then. I wasn’t very far into it anyway. I asked her about keeping them hostage for so long. She said that they weren’t at her house until recently. Bella and Greyback brought them to her house last week. She didn’t know where they had been kept before, but Bella had both their wands and told Narcissa to watch over them. She seemed distraught and said she didn’t want to keep them in her home. She didn’t even know who they were until Bella told her.”
“Why keep us alive though? I don’t understand that,” Caroline asked.
“Well, she said Bella explained very little about it, but said that they kept you, Caroline, alive because of Peter. They had long since feared he was being a traitor to them. He apparently showed some remorse and doubt about kidnapping you, so they kept you alive as bait for him. If he ever went to the ministry or the Order, they had something to threaten him with.”
“He didn’t care about me though?” Amelia couldn’t hide the hurt in her voice.
“Well, I don’t know about that specifically, but you were kept for a different reason. Augustus Rookwood convinced Lucius, who Narcissa found out from Bella was involved in the entire affair directly, to keep you alive because of your job.”
“Rookwood? He was a Death Eater?”
“Still is, but anyway, he said you were involved in a special operative that was researching the use of the veil and the environment behind it. He thought you would be very useful to the cause. Especially once complete power was gained and Voldemort had taken over the ministry, you would be important to them. She said from the way Bella explained it, keeping you alive was more of an after thought, as Caroline was their prime target the night they took you.”
“So, Narcissa felt guilty for keeping us?”
“She didn’t want to. From the way she spoke, it seems she’s been feeling in over her head for some time now. Anyway, she said you were both sleeping when you arrived, but began to stir a few days after arriving. She knew she needed to get you out of there, so she gave the first one to wake up a wand. She said she had to be careful about doing it because Bella and other Death Eaters are constantly coming in and out of her home. She couldn’t let you keep your wand, but she thought if you had it for a few minutes that maybe you could contact the Order in some way. She said she thought it was a shot in the dark and was amazed when you sent a patronus. She waited for the Order to arrive, which is why she wasn’t surprised to see you Tonks. She said she was glad to be taken too, because in Azkaban she has a chance of living, if any of the Death Eaters had come and found you gone, she would have been killed.”
“Did she mention Draco in any of this?” Harry had been wondering about his arch enemy for a while now. Where he was, what he was up to.
“She said she didn’t know where he was, she was very shaken when his name came up.”
“Wow,” Ron said quietly, looking around the room. “Who would have thought a Malfoy would help the Order?”
“Well, Narcissa’s not a Malfoy, she’s a Black. A few of us seemed to have turned out alright. Sirius, Mum, and me at least, I don’t think I would put her in a group with us, but she’s better than Bella for sure. Kingsley, do you think she’ll serve a life sentence?”
“Not if we attend her trial and testify for her. Some of us will need to if we want to save her from a life in prison.” Everyone sat, thinking. Harry felt his stomach begin to churn. Lately he seemed to have an overwhelming feeling that his battle with Voldemort was going to be coming to an end very soon. He just had a feeling that within the year the war would be over. How it would end was anyone’s guess, but soon it would all be over.
Well, there are the next two chapters, hopefully I can work on the others this week. I'm begging for feedback! Also, if anyone knows how to link my feedback thread all into one word, like, feedback, would you let me know because I can't figure out how to do it! Thanks so much!
Last edited by nevillesgal; January 1st, 2007 at 9:58 pm.
Re: With Open Arms
Here's the next part! I know this is controversial and I wanted to say that this isn't necessarily what I think will happen in book 7. I'm just trying to create a fic unlike others I've read, centered around the characters created by J.K. Rowling. Characters I have grown to really love. Anyway, enjoy!
Harry couldn’t stop thinking about what Amelia had whispered to him. He couldn’t be sure, but from what Lupin said, she knew a lot about the veil and it seemed like she might know something about people coming back from the veil. He was nervous about speaking with her about it though. He didn’t want to get his hopes up. After a quick goodnight with Ginny, he headed to Ron’s room and found the lovebirds snogging on the bed.
“Alright, enough of that,” He said, plopping on his cot.
“Oh come off it! Like you weren’t just in there snogging my little sister!” Ron tossed a pillow at his friend and Hermione blushed slightly and offered up a small smile. “Alright Harry? You look a bit peaky.”
“I’m alright, just thinking of something Amelia said to me about Sirius. I want to talk with her, but don’t want to be bothersome.”
“I’m sure she wouldn’t mind talking with you. I think Tonks and Remus are in the room with them now, looking at old photographs. Just go knock on the door.”
“Will you come with me? Both of you?”
“Sure Harry, you know we will.”
“I mean, you’re not needing some more snog time right now?” Harry grinned at them and faked pain when Hermione punched him on the arm. “Alright, let’s go.” They walked down the stairs and reached the landing with Percy’s room. Harry looked nervous and Ron and Hermione shared a confused look. They had no idea what he wanted to talk with Amelia about, but it was something nerve-racking apparently. He knocked softy and heard some laughing and then someone said, “Come in.”
The trio entered the room and saw Lupin, Tonks, Caroline, and Amelia all sitting on the floor, looking at an old photo album.
“Hello! Come on in! Neville went home and brought this back. It’s all of us at Hogwarts!” Caroline seemed so excited to have the album again and was smiling happily. “Come and see!” They all shifted to make room for the others and placed the album where it could easily be seen by everyone. The page they had been laughing over had pictures of the Marauders in the Gryffindor common room. They seemed to be having some type of duel. James and Sirius kept shooting spells at each other, while Lupin and Peter were throwing one in occasionally too. They would run all over the picture, sliding under tables or ducking behind couches. Just when it seemed about to repeat itself, Caroline would come in the picture, just in time to be hit by a spell James was casting. Lifting her into the air by her ankles, she would laugh and point her finger at James. It was a good picture. There were many others. All of them in Hogsmeade, all of them in the Common Room, Harry’s favorite was the one of his mother and father, just the two of them. They were on James’ broomstick, Lily sitting behind James, holding onto his waist tightly. He would turn and kiss her softly before zooming out of sight.
“Remember how hard it was for James to convince Lily to get on his broom? It took weeks to talk her into it!” Amelia smiled and continued, “Then, once he finally got her on one, he flew down by the lake and got distracted, and she fell off right into the lake! The giant squid threw her out onto the grass!”
“James said he turned around to look at her and kissed her again and she lost her balance and fell right off! Remember when they came in she was soaked and had grass in her hair!” All three were laughing hard while Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Tonks smiled but weren’t really laughing. Harry still looked nervous. The others didn’t notice at first. “I remember Sirius giving them the weirdest look and asking why they didn’t just magically dry her off!” Amelia had tears coming down her face she was laughing so hard.
“Oh right, and James said he didn’t think about it,” Caroline was also crying from laughing.
“Then Sirius said he just liked seeing her in a wet shirt!” Even Lupin, serious, level headed Lupin was doubled over in laughter. After a few minutes of this though, Caroline noticed the others not joining in and regained her composure.
“Sorry you guys! What’s going on? Anything we can help you with?”
“Oh sorry! We’re acting so silly! Yes, can we do anything for you?” Amelia had the kindest eyes Harry had ever seen. She looked like she really cared about them. Three teenagers she had known for less than 24 hours.
“Well, I was actually wanting to talk about Sirius,” Harry said, nervousness apparent in his voice. This stopped the laughter. All three of them got quiet, but didn’t seem mad at Harry wanting to talk about him. Caroline looked questioningly at Ron and Hermione. Harry noticed and answered her unasked question. “Oh, I tell them everything. They need to hear about him too,” he paused, looking thoughtful. “Sirius was important to all of us. He made a huge impact, even though we weren’t around him for too long.” Amelia’s eyes were kind and happy. She seemed to love hearing that Sirius was important to Harry and his friends.
“Well, I never saw him love someone more than he loved you Harry. James and I weren’t even in the picture after you were born. He loved you with all his being and wanted you to have the world. He really took his god parenting responsibilities seriously.” Amelia beamed speaking about him and Harry felt a warm feeling in his chest. Something about her just radiated love, kindness and happiness. Harry needed more love in his life and was so happy to have met her.
“It was the first thing he ever took seriously. Well, other than hexing Snape and snogging our sweet Amelia!” Everyone laughed and Lupin nodded, agreeing with Caroline.
“Thanks for putting Snape before me!”
“You’re quite welcome sweet Amelia!”
“I forgot he called you that,” Lupin looked thoughtful. Harry had the impression he was remembering his friend. He leaned over to Tonks and casually put his arm around her. She snuggled in next to him. “Anyway, Harry had some questions about Sirius for us.” All the eyes in the room turned to Harry. He spoke quietly, but seemed more at ease than before.
“Well, actually, more for Amelia. She said something when we hugged in the kitchen that I wanted more information about. She hinted that Sirius might not really be dead.” The silence in the room was deafening, and Hermione’s eyes were round in shock. Ron and Tonks looked completely dumbstruck, while Lupin and Caroline simply looked nervous. Amelia however, grinned broadly.
“Well, I did hint at that Harry. But, I’m done hinting. If what Remus says is correct, and I’m sure it is, and Sirius fell through the veil in the Department of Mysteries, he is in fact, not dead.” Ron was shaking his head, Hermione gasped and Harry looked eager. Lupin and Caroline exchanged a look mixed with curiosity and concern. Tonks simply looked at all of them, seemingly waiting for someone to respond. When none of them did, she spoke up.
“What? I mean, even Dumbledore and the Minister of Magic said he was dead. What do you mean?” Amelia kept on grinning, and looked right at Harry when speaking.
“Well you see, I worked on a special operative concerning the veil. We knew there was something special about it, but didn’t know a lot of details. It had been there since the ministry of magic was established, yet no one really seemed to know anything about it. We began working with it, looking into what it could be. Some said they felt drawn to the veil, and I heard a few people say they could hear voices behind it.” Harry nodded. “Could you hear the voices Harry?”
“Yes, and so could our friend, Luna.”
“Well, I’m sorry to say that at least while I was working on it, we never figured out why some people could hear voices and others couldn’t. But, that’s neither here nor there right now. We only figured out what it was shortly before I,” she trialed off, “um, left the office.” She didn’t seem to be able to say, “was kidnapped.” “Anyway, behind the veil is a sort of alternate universe. I’ve never been to it, but a few people I worked with had been before. We lost one person to the veil while experimenting. Sarah Newburg accidentally fell through and the ministry downplayed her “death” and said that she disappeared in the “line of duty,” which was silly. Anyway, if I’m remembering correctly, a month before I left, a potion was developed that would allow entry into the veil. I don’t even know how they developed it. It was a memory potion. One person volunteered to try it out, a young man with very little family. His name was Marcus Smith. He took the potion and entered. He was gone for almost an hour, but when he came out he thought he had only been gone a few moments. Time seemed to be slower in the veil. He said in the veil he saw Sarah and tried to speak with her. She answered to the name Sarah, but didn’t have any memory of working for the ministry. We determined that the reason people don’t return from the veil is that they don’t remember needing to return anywhere. The memory potion kept Marcus remembering his life outside the veil. So, another test was run. Marcus went back into the veil, this time with a vial of potion for Sarah to drink. He gave it to her and after she drank it, she seemed to remember more, but not fully. He was able to convince her to come out of the veil with him. When they emerged together, her memory returned completely and she thought she had just been gone a few hours.”
“So, what you’re saying is that if we can get some of that potion, and send someone into the veil, give Sirius the potion, he can return to our world?” Harry’s voice was so excited.
“But, if a potion was discovered so long ago to bring people back from the veil, why hasn’t the ministry gone in for Sirius?” Hermione asked and Tonks nodded, obviously thinking the same thing. “And why haven’t all the people behind the veil been brought out?”
“Well, I heard dad and Kingsley talking about the “inquiry” the ministry is doing on the death of Sirius. Apparently it’s taking much longer than it should. Do you think the “inquiry” has something to do with going in to get him?” Ron, the only who always knew what was going on at the ministry, spoke softy, almost as if he was afraid to know the answer.
“Maybe, has there been anything in the papers about him dying?”
“I don’t think anything that explicitly said he had died.”
“That’s probably why. The only people who would know would be the Unspeakables. So, they might not want to say he’s dead yet, until they know for sure he’s not coming back. I know people know he’s dead, but people thought we were dead too, and we’re not. And we didn’t bring out other people at the time because we didn’t know where they came from. They seemed to just come with the veil.” Amelia indicated Caroline, who nodded.
“I think there was something about him dying, but even with that, people wouldn’t be surprised to see a ministry cover up. It happens all the time. If he was alive, they would just spin it as something more to gossip about. Most wizards probably wouldn’t ask too many questions. Which is sad, but true.” Lupin said, a weird tone in his voice. “I mean, there was barely a paragraph scrunched in the corner of the back page of the Prophet when they took Peter into custody. You would think it would be much more important, but apparently not. The ministry hates to admit they were wrong and sent the wrong man to Azkaban. There hasn’t been anything about Snape being caught either.”
“Amelia?” Hermione asked as if she were speaking to a teacher.
“If Unspeakables can’t discuss the work they do, how is it that you could tell us all about it?”
“Well, the spell to keep silent has to be performed and restrengthened every year. Each of us would have to have it cast on us. If someone chose to leave the department, their memory was modified to erase the memories of their work. It is such a strong memory charm though that many forgot other important things though, so very few people ever left. I didn’t leave voluntarily, and haven’t had the charm cast on me in sixteen years so I can remember it and discuss it. Plus, this was all so long ago, I’m sure they’re not even researching that part anymore. Once they find out I’m alive though, they’ll want to cast the charm on me. I’m sure I’ll let them. My memories are too important to take the chance of forgetting.”
“So, what are we going to do? We need to get Sirius!” Harry’s voice was urgent.
“I totally agree Harry, but we need to brew the potion. I’ll go to the Department of Mysteries with it and go in for him. They’ll let me. I know they will. Even if they don’t remember me, Kingsley told me tonight that my name is well known around the ministry and that many people commented on me when Sirius went through. If they won’t let me, I’ll find some way to sneak in a do it!”
“Well, little miss perfect prefect, sweet Amelia is going to go against the rules?” Caroline shot her a fake stern look.
“You know I am! I’ll do anything for Sirius!”
“Yes, I never was quite sure how the biggest trouble maker in all of Hogwarts ended up with the most perfect prefect in all of Hogwarts. I mean, compared to sweet Amelia here even Lily was a trouble maker!”
“Oh hush, I wasn’t that bad.”
“Um, actually, you were Amelia. Sirius would sneak around you so much just to avoid getting a lecture after we pulled a prank. You never even loosened up on us hexing Snape until sixth year, after that day in the transfiguration hallway.” Lupin grinned at her and she just shrugged.
“Well, I must not have been perfect enough, I wasn’t made Head Girl! Lily was!”
“You and Lily were both perfect for that job. I think Lily just beat you out in the grades department. She got two more owls than you, remember?” Caroline was smirking at her friend, who laughed. “Anyway, I think it would be great for you to go in and get Sirius. In fact, I say let’s go without the ministry knowing! It will be more fun that way!”
“Well, I don’t know about that, but I am going in after him.”
“Should we tell the Order?” Tonks seemed excited, like Harry, at the prospect of seeing Sirius again.
“I think we should, it would be weird for Sirius to just come walking through the door again. Plus, I’m going to need help brewing the Potion. Who is good with Potions?”
“Well, used to I would have said Lily, but the only other person I know who is really good with Potions, who is an Order member, is Snape. Are we going to believe him and ask for his help?” Lupin looked at Harry, who thought for a moment and then nodded. “Alright, I’ll see if I can get him released. Harry, you might need to come with me though. The minister might be willing to give him to you.”
“Doubtful. He’s not too fond of me since I wouldn’t give him any information about Dumbledore.”
“Well, maybe you could give him something, we’ll see when the time comes.”
They continued to talk about the rescue mission to get Sirius back. Harry tried not to be too hopeful, but he was. He really wanted Sirius to come and talk to him again. He wanted to hear his voice. He had a feeling that even if Sirius did come back, Harry would still go on with Hermione and Ron alone to find the horcruxes. He knew they needed to go at it alone. The fewer people going to get each horcrux, the better. Sirius wouldn’t like that, but Harry would make sure he had another important job. He wouldn’t let him feel left out like before. He would make sure Sirius knew he was needed and wanted. So much that Harry didn’t want to risk loosing him ever again.
Please leave feedback! I know people are reading it because the number of views goes up, but only a few people leave feedback. Thanks so much to LikeLuna for always leaving feedback and for the explanation about linking!
Last edited by nevillesgal; January 12th, 2007 at 6:45 pm.
Re: With Open Arms
Here is the next chapter! I've already got an idea for a sequal and a prequal to this story, so I'm trying to get it wrapped up. I think I've got two or three more chapters left. Thanks for reading!
“So Harry, how are you?” Scrimgeour smiled like a schoolboy sucking up to the teacher.
“Fine,” Harry did not return the smile. Even though he wanted something from the Minister, he was not going to give in to him. He would rather break Snape out of Azkaban than work with the Minister. This is for Sirius. Keep thinking of Sirius. He thought to himself. “I’m sure you know Remus Lupin.” Scrimgeour gave him a side look, and although he didn’t say anything directly, Harry thought he was thinking werewolf. “Remus is one of my best friends. I don’t know if you knew, but he and my father were close friends. He’s a great friend and the closest thing to a parent I have.” Harry gave the Minister a pointed look. He wouldn’t go into the fact that Remus was much more a friend than parent, and he had the Weasley’s to be his parents, he wanted to effect the Minister and it had worked.
“Oh yes! Of course Remus! How nice to see you again!” He jovially extended his hand and shook Remus’. “So, what can I do for you gentlemen today?” Remus, who seemed to be stifling a laugh, shook his hand and addressed him.
“Well, we’re here to discuss Severus Snape being released into our care. We will make sure he’s watched closely.”
“I’m not so sure about that…”
“I really need his help with something Minister. He’s the only one who can help me.” Harry said confidently. He wasn’t scared of the Minister in the least.
“Well, he’s a criminal, a murder. I don’t think I can release a murderer into the care of civilians.”
“Well, Snape was only helping Professor Dumbledore that night. He was very sick and probably would have died anyway. Snape was trying to save him that night.”
“I thought the report we received from Professor McGonagall said that he was killed by the killing curse.”
“Well, McGonagall wasn’t there that night. I was.”
“What are you saying?”
“I’m saying that the only witness you have of the “murder” as you’re calling it, is me. I mean, and some Death Eaters, but I doubt you’ll get any of them to testify. How are you going to prove he did it? Has he admitted to it?”
“Well no, but we can use Priori Incantatum to see spells he’s fired…”
“Yes, but don’t you think he’s cast many spells since the night in question? You can only use Priori Incantatum to uncover the most recently cast spell. It’s only in very few instances that you can go beyond that. Oh, and he’s the most distinguished Occlumens I know, other than Dumbledore, so don’t think for a moment you will be able to use Legilimency against him” Lupin looked at the Minister with a look that said, if that’s all you have, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.
“Yes well, we can also use Veritaserum…”
“Snape would be expecting it and would have his guard up. He’s very smart and a Potionist. It would recognize the feel of Veritaserum instantly. You won’t be able to use that on him.” Harry knew they were wearing him down, he knew all their points were valid. “What’s left? Sending him to Azkaban without a trial? Not going to fly. I’ll make sure to speak loud and clear about the Ministry then, but not in the way you want me too.” Harry raised his eyebrows at the Minister.
“I might consider it, if you can help me.”
“I will not discuss Albus Dumbledore or anything I ever helped him with.”
“So you were helping him with something?”
“I’m his man, not yours. What do you want from me?”
“I want you to give a positive interview about the Ministry.”
“I won’t give you an interview. But, if you release Snape to us, I will give you a small statement. I won’t denounce the Ministry in said statement. I will give you credit for capturing a Death Eater. A Death Eater deserved to be caught, one who is responsible for the death of my parents. Peter Pettigrew. I will give the Ministry credit for catching him, even though Remus and Nyphadora Tonks were the ones who caught him.”
“You were there too Harry,” Lupin smiled at the young man’s modesty.
“Yes, I was, but wouldn’t have caught him without the two of you.” He returned Lupin’s smile, then turned back to the Minister with a stern face. “So, do you want my statement or not?” The Minister seemed to be distraught. Harry thought he knew what was going through his mind. Having Harry give such a statement would be positive press for the Ministry. There was no doubting that people were in awe of Harry and thought he could rescue them from the terror life had become. On the other hand, they were trying to downplay Pettigrew’s capture because making it public would also mean admitting they were wrong about Pettigrew. That Sirius Black was sent to Azkaban without a trial and an Order of Merlin, First Class was awarded to the person who actually committed the crimes he was imprisoned for. But, again, if he didn’t give Harry what he wanted, Harry would openly speak out against the Ministry. He wasn’t stupid enough to think that was an empty threat, Harry had done it before. Very publicly then, and the article had a hand in why he was the Minister now. No, Harry wouldn’t blink an eye at destroying the Minister, or the Ministry.
“I’ll take your statement. You can leave it with my secretary.”
“Fine, but be assured. My statement is only to appear once. It must be word for word what I say. If any of my words are taken out, changed, or if anything is added, I will denounce this Ministry, with specific emphasis on you.” Harry was surprised at his own boldness, but he just wasn’t worried about the Minister. He knew he had the upper hand in this agreement.
“Agreed.” The Minister looked pained at agreeing to this, but just nodded and walked away, speaking to a man who Harry recognized as Dawlish, the Auror who had been cursed twice by Dumbledore. Harry had to suppress a smile thinking about this, because the Minister, much like his predecessor, underestimated Dumbledore and got an Auror cursed twice. Dawlish shot Harry and Lupin a shocked look, then left.
“He’s gone for Snape. You can speak with my secretary until they return.” Nodding at Lupin and Harry, he walked away, looking slightly defeated.
“Alright then, you need to make your statement,” Lupin laughed out loud and Harry joined in. The irony of Harry giving a statement to the Ministry to save Snape was not lost on either of them, and it was downright funny. Well, Sirius was more important than a statement and his loathing of Snape would just have to be put aside for now.
The afternoon was sunny and bright. Hermione sat on the grass, reading a large book about Wizarding families. She was looking for information about the Hogwarts Founders and their families, in hopes of finding something useful to the cause of horcrux hunting. Nothing so far though, and she was getting really frustrated. She just wasn’t having any luck. She moved slightly over so she was under the shade of a tree and stretched her body on the grass. She crossed her arms over the book and put her head down. She wasn’t asleep, but was so lost in thought she didn’t hear Ron come up behind her. He stretched out next to her and gently put his` arm around her waist. Laughing out loud when she jumped a mile, he pulled her close to him and kissed her softly. The kiss turned more passionate and she ended up practically on top of him. After breaking apart, she blushed and rolled herself over onto the grass. She looked up when she heard voices. Walking a few feet away from them were Charlie and Caroline. She couldn’t really hear what they were saying, but they seemed to be flirting a little. She smiled. Yes, they had only just met, and Caroline had been through the wringer lately, but she was happy to see both looking happy. She nudged Ron and he looked at where she was pointing.
“Look at your brother and Caroline! They’re flirting!”
“You think? I don’t know, I’ve never been too good at the flirting stuff, I don’t even recognize it, to be honest.”
“Don’t I know it,” Hermione said, laughing. He didn’t seem impressed by her joke though, and tackled her, tickling her and making her squirm. After pulling away from him, she smiled, breathlessly. “You just flirted right there! You’re not as bad as I let on.” She kissed him one more time.
“Whatever, hey, Caroline is older than Charlie.”
“I’m older than you.”
“Yes, but only by six months. She’s what, thirteen or fourteen years older than him?”
“Yes, I’m not really sure exactly how old she is, but she’s Lupin’s age, and Charlie is Tonks age, so yes, thirteen years seems about right. Is it a problem for you that she’s older than him?”
“Well, I don’t know, it seems a little strange, doesn’t it?”
“Ronald! So it’s alright for Lupin to be older than Tonks but not for Caroline to be older than Charlie!”
“Well, Lupin’s a bloke…” he trailed off and realized he shouldn’t have said that.
“Ronald Bilius Weasley! Why is it alright for a bloke to be older than his girlfriend, but not the other way around?”
“Whoa! You see them flirting and all of a sudden they’re a couple and you’re mad at me for saying it’s weird for a girl to be older than her boyfriend?”
“I’m not saying they’re a couple,” Hermione was flustered, but was not going to let Ron get away with this chauvinistic behavior. “I’m still wanting to know why it’s alright for the bloke to be older.”
“It doesn’t matter who’s older, it’s still a large age difference. But, I can see it’s really working for Lupin and Tonks, so I won’t say a word against her if Charlie dates her. I’ll be nothing but happy for them.” Ron wasn’t sure if he had convinced his love, but she huffed slightly and stood up. Reaching for his hand, she helped him to his feet and they walked toward the house hand in hand, without a word. She seemed to be letting it go, which was unlike her. He wasn’t going to push the issue though, so he also just let it go. They made it to the house slowly and walked in the kitchen to find none other than Caroline and Charlie seated at the table, having a Butterbeer.
“Where have you two been?” Charlie said with mock sternness.
“Nowhere you haven’t been before,” Ron retorted, retrieving two Butterbeers and handing one to Hermione. “I just found her reading up on the founders outside.”
“Oh, alright, as long as you were working,” Caroline piped up. She sat there with a smile on her face and you would have never known she had been kidnapped and kept locked in a deep sleep in who knows where for the last sixteen years. She and Amelia hadn’t been around too long, but they had already made an impression on everyone.
Caroline, the taller of the two, was thin and blonde with blue green eyes the color of the ocean. She was outspoken and observant; nothing seemed to get past her. She got along well with everyone, but had a streak of teasing in her. Lupin said she was the female equivalent to James. She had James and known each other prior to entering Hogwarts, and their friendship was the main reason the Marauders and the girls were friends in the first place. They had been sitting together on the train when a small redheaded girl poked her head in, hoping for a seat. James lost it then, loving Lily right from the start. Lily and Caroline were very different. Lily the only person who get Caroline to study, the only person who Caroline had been afraid to anger. Caroline helped Sirius and James pull pranks sometimes, even if her involvement was simply to keep Lily and Amelia out of the way. She had found herself in detention many times, and knew where the headmaster’s office was her first year. Opposite of her perfect brother, Caroline had been a bit of a thorn in her mother’s side. Her mother had wanted her daughter to be a lady, a sweet little witch who would do what she was told. She was far from that. A trouble maker in her own right, she bonded with James the first time they met at a Christmas party for Ministry employees when they were four. Together they put ink in Frank’s drink and he walked around for hours with a bright blue mouth before someone told him to look in a mirror. The two kept contact and played other pranks throughout their childhood, and once arriving at Hogwarts, continued to prank those around them. James became protective of her, and would often try and convince her not to help with pranks. She had stood at the foot of the Willow the night he emerged with Snape, glad he had gone in to save him, yet hoping neither would be bitten by her boyfriend. Caroline Longbottom was not a girly girl, not someone to anger, and not someone to tease. She could take your teasing, but she could dish it out even worse and you did not want to be on the wrong end of her wand. A powerful witch she had a natural gift for healing and had done a great job for St. Mungo’s when she worked there. She was dreading returning to her place of employment though, dreading seeing Frank and Alice in such a state. She knew it would be hard for her and Amelia both.
Amelia was short and skinny. She had the same round face as her sister, Alice, but did not have the curves her sister was so proud of. Her hair was a darker shade of blonde, like honey, and her eyes were such a bright blue it was like looking at the sky. She chose her words carefully, not that she was shy, or even quiet, just didn’t speak unless she needed to. She was smart, not quite as smart as Lily, only getting eight O.W.L.S. when Lily got ten. She wasn’t taking as many courses as Lily though, and passed all of her exams. She was named Prefect in her fifth year, along with Remus, and she only served detention one time in her entire career at Hogwarts and it was for something she had no hand in, she was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. She could be a hopeless romantic at times though, trying to help Lily see that James was perfect for her. She worried so much about others finding love that she overlooked it herself. For some unknown reason, Sirius Black, who really topped even James in his troublemaking abilities, fell for this perfect girl. He fell hard to, and fast. She would infuriate him most of the time, lecturing him about the importance of inter-house unity and that rules were not, as he so often said, meant to be broken. She never yelled at him, only spoke sternly and quietly. He began to fall for her at the end of their fifth year, the final blow being administered on the train, on their way home. She had just finished lecturing them about behaving next year when the train jerked and she, being so small, went flying into his lap. Already having a slight crush on the goody two shoes, he fell hard right then. Remus told her later that he had never seen Sirius look so flushed as he did that day, taking her by her waist and helping her up. It might be a mystery forever why he fell for her, but he did. She had always thought him attractive, all the girls did, but she disapproved of his rule breaking. He never really bothered her much, she spent time with him because they were all friends, and she didn’t really give him too much thought. Until Snape and his cronies cornered her one afternoon and Sirius led the Marauders to her rescue. That day she realized he was special. That day she fell for him. She still held that same quiet beauty, still believed in following the rules, still wanted everyone to find love. No, Amelia Carpenter might have been kidnapped and missing for sixteen years, but this hadn’t hardened her heart at all. If anything, it made her want more love in the world. Sirius called her “sweet Amelia” for a reason. She was the sweetest person he had ever known. Something he still thought the day he fell through the veil.
“So, Caroline, Tonks told me last night you were going to see your mother today?” Caroline came out of her thoughts and looked at Hermione and gave a half smile.
“Yes, I’m just waiting for Neville to come now. He’s going with me. I’m nervous. I never really got on all that well with mother, and she will probably have mixed feelings about my being alive and well.”
“Surely you’re exaggerating. I mean, she doesn’t seem like a picnic, but I’m sure she’ll be glad her only daughter isn’t dead,” Charlie squeezed her hand reassuringly, causing Hermione and Ron to share a quick look.
“Well, hopefully. We’ll see though,” just as she took her last sip of Butterbeer, Neville came in.
“Ready Aunt Caroline?”
“As I’ll ever be,” she said somewhat grimly. They left from the front lawn, Neville participating in side along apparition with his Aunt.
“Hope that goes alright,” Ron stated.
“Me too,” said Charlie, still looking at the spot she left from.
Thanks so much for reading!
I need to give credit to The Harry Potter Lexicon for the information I used in this chapter about the ages of Charlie Weasley, Tonks, and Lupin.
I appreciate your comments! Please let me know what you think!
Last edited by nevillesgal; September 10th, 2006 at 7:57 am.
Re: With Open Arms
The rainy weather was fitting. Harry had wanted to return to Godric’s Hollow for a long time now, and today, in the rain, he was there. Standing in front of the house he hid in. The house his parents tucked him into bed in, the house they died in. He knew it all started here for him, the adventure had begun that Halloween so many years ago. He wasn’t sure why he needed to be there, to see this place. He had wondered if he would remember anything. Seeing it in person was a little disappointing because nothing rang familiar to his ears. He didn’t recognize anything. He had only been a baby, but he had half hoped memories of playing with his father in the yard, or watching his mother cook would come back to him. Nothing was coming back to him though, but sadness was entering his chest. Feeling like lead, his feet had trouble moving throughout the rubble. He wondered if no one could see the house, if it was still charmed. He was going to assume it was because the thought of the house being destroyed and no one caring enough to put it back together broke his heart. Ron and Hermione followed him through the rubble, occasionally making a comment. Harry wasn’t really listening to them though. He was looking at his childhood. All that was left of the first year of his life was a pile of bricks and a lightning bolt scar. Making it through the house he walked into the yard. Several feet from the house was a small gated off area with two lonely stones protruding from the ground. His friends hung back a little, feeling his need for space. Carefully and with some trepidation he approached the small gated yard. The first stone read:
Brave to the end, you will never be forgotten.
The second stone read:
Lily Evans Potter
The Greatest Gift to Give is Love, your gift is Love.
Hot tears stung the back of his eyes as he read the inscriptions. He had a feeling Dumbledore had something to do with their headstones and smiled in spite of his tears. He looked at the two stones and sighed.
“Mum, Dad, I know I’m a bit crazy for talking to your headstones. I need you right now though. I know the day is coming, and coming soon, when I’m going to have to face him. Voldemort. He’s going to come for me, there is no doubt. I’ve met him before. You know, you were there once. I couldn’t have made it out of the graveyard that night without you. Thanks for saving me again. Mum, you keep saving me from him. Dad, Lupin taught me how to cast a patronus. It’s you. You’ve saved me, Ron, Hermione, Sirius, and Dudley all from Dementors. You, coming from my wand. Dumbledore said I found you inside myself. I don’t think I can live up to you though. I don’t know if I want to. I want you do live on, in my memory, in my patronus forever. I met some of your friends the other day. Caroline Longbottom and Amelia Carpenter. They aren’t dead and we got them back. I loved hearing them talk about you. Caroline said you were a prat most of the time Dad. We’re going to try and rescue Sirius, but no one really knows if it will work. Amelia thinks so. I’ve also found her, found the girl I’m going to marry. Ginny Weasley. Her brother is my best friend, and her family are all Order members. They’ve become my family. I wish you could meet here. She had red hair, like you mom. Caroline and Amelia said seeing us together is like seeing you two. Except they said we don’t fight as much as you two did. We leave the fighting to Ron and Hermione. They are my marauders. They’re going to fight with me. I know I can count on them and I can’t do it without them. I love both of them so much. Mum, you showed me how to love. Thank you. Dad, you showed me how to protect others around me. Thank you. I’m going to do everything I can to save the world from Voldemort. I have to. I’m the chosen one. I’ll fight to the death. Thanks for watching over me, thanks for loving me. I owe everything to you. I will do this for you. I will defeat him.” Finally giving in to his emotions, Harry could barely complete the sentence. He sat on the cold, hard, ground and cried. He cried for his parents, he cried for his past, he cried for his future. Tears streaming down, he tried to hide his face from Ron and Hermione. They saw him though and slowly walked to his side.
“They heard you Harry. They’re watching over you.” Ron put his arm around his best friend, and Hermione sat on his other side.
“I know they did, I know,” barely a whisper, he nodded and took one last look as they rose. Walking away, he knew he was walking into his destiny. His future. The future his parents had given him. The future his parents had died for.
Thanks for reading!!
Kinda cheesy, but I felt like this needed to be in the story. Please leave feedback!
I'm begging you...
Last edited by nevillesgal; September 17th, 2006 at 1:21 am.
Re: With Open Arms
This is the last chapter before the epilogue. I'm working on a prequel and a sequel, which I will hopefully have up soon. Thanks so much for reading! Enjoy!
School had been in session for two months when the letter came. Harry was eating his breakfast silently that day, a Saturday. Ron, Hermione, and Ginny were all still asleep but he had gotten up early to have a ride on his Firebolt. Hedwig had been gone for several days. He had sent her to Amelia and she was just now returning, another letter tied to her leg. He eyed her and looked at the letter with anticipation. At the last Order meeting the potion to go into the veil was almost complete and Amelia and Caroline were planning to go for Sirius this week. Not much could be said while at school, and in letters things had to be spoken of in very secretive words. Harry was nervous because both Lupin and Tonks had been out on Friday and their classes had been cancelled. He tried to speak with McGonagall about it but she wasn’t in her office either. The vanishing cabinet was in her office, which even with the password, wasn’t available to Harry. He couldn’t floo anywhere and Hermione and Ron and convinced him not to worry about it until they heard something. Much against his gut he had listened to them, something he normally wouldn’t have done. But, for once he was going to think something through. He was a valued Order member and someone who they needed…alive. He knew they would let him in on what ever was going on soon enough, he would have to be patient; which wasn’t really one of his best qualities. He had made it though, and now he had some information. He knew Amelia’s letter would have something important in it. He ripped it open just as Ron and Hermione were sitting across from him.
“It’s from Amelia,” he said, looking around, double checking that no one was watching. Very few people were even in the Great Hall, and no one was paying the trio any mind. Ron and Hermione moved to either side of Harry so they could all read the letter.
Well, it took three trips and many hours but we’ve returned. Both of us. He can’t believe everything and can’t wait to see you. Remus and Tonks said sorry about yesterday, they’re with us. They went with me for the last trip. McGonagall too. Anyway, go to her office as soon as you get this. Oh, bring the other four! Love all of you!
“Come on!” Harry bolted from his seat and led the three of them running all the way to McGonagall’s office.
“We have to get Neville!” Ron was shouting! “Ginny too!” Hermione ran into Ron as he skidded to a halt right before getting to her office. Hearing footsteps behind him, he turned and saw them running toward them. “We were about to come get you! How did you know to come?”
“You prat! All three of you just ran right past us on our way into the Great Hall. We figured it was something big, so we followed,” Ginny smacked Ron across the head as Harry called to them.
“Come on! I don’t have all day! The stairs are moving!” The others ran to him and jumped on the moving staircase. Once at the top, Harry didn’t even stop to knock, but ran into the office with vigor in his step.
“Harry!” Professor McGonagall was sitting behind her desk and looked startled at the entrance of her students. She didn’t seem angry, just a little taken aback. “I see you got the letter,” she almost smiled.
“Yes! Are they here?” He was breathless.
“No, you’re going to go through the cabinet.”
“Have you seen him?”
“Yes, last night. He was amazed at all that has happened, Remus, Tonks, Caroline, and Amelia stayed up all night with him. I came back last night and went over again this morning. They’re all still up, waiting on you.”
“Can we go? Now?” Everyone looked at their headmistress, who did crack a small smile as she nodded.
“You can stay all weekend, just be here on Monday morning for your first class.”
Harry couldn’t believe it. He was going to see Sirius. His godfather, who he thought he had lost forever. He was going to see him. With nervousness mixed with excitement, he stepped into the cabinet. Right away he came out in the sitting room at Headquarters. Directly followed by the others, they headed to the kitchen, where happy voices could be heard.
Harry slowly opened the door. There, sitting at the table, his long black hair falling in his face, just like it always did, was Sirius. He looked up right when Harry entered and they shared an intense gaze. Everyone seemed to be holding their breath. Harry went around the table and stupidly stuck out his hand for Sirius to shake. Laughing his bark like laugh, Sirius grabbed his hand and hugged him. With open arms Harry embraced his godfather. In that moment, so uncharacteristic of both the men, Harry knew he was home. He had found his family, sitting in the kitchen of this dark house. These people were definitely worth fighting for.
Thank you so much for reading!
Sort of an abrupt ending, but I felt done with this fic. It's hard to explain, but I needed to finish it. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you'll read the prequel and sequel once they're up! Thanks again for reading! I'll have the epilogue up soon hopefully.
I would love to know what you think!
Last edited by nevillesgal; September 16th, 2006 at 3:53 am.
Re: With Open Arms
“It’s a boy!” Caroline came out with a huge grin on her face. “Everyone is doing fine and we should be able to see them soon! I have to go take care of a few things though.”
“Caroline!” Sirius shouted at her before the door swung closed. She poked her head back through.
“What is the boy’s name?”
“Oh! Sorry! John Albus Lupin!” She grinned again and left the room.
“John! Oh, they did name him after Remus!” Amelia was tickled for her friends. Remus and Tonks were the first to have children. She and Sirius, and Charlie and Caroline were all still newlyweds so no children yet. The younger crowd wasn’t quite married off yet, although they were all working on it.
The war had been over for about six months. The night Sirius returned was the same night Remus and Tonks announced they were engaged. Tonks said she couldn’t let Sirius have all the attention, so she had to go about showing off her ring. Everyone was happy for them, although Sirius didn’t quite know what to think because when he left Remus had been single. He was happy though, to officially have Remus in his family. The last living Marauders would be kin forever.
Not long after they married they found out Tonks was expecting, and right at the height of the war. Remus put his foot down and would not let her fight in any battles, so she had worked the last few months of the war behind the scenes, helping Harry destroy the horcruxes once he found them all. It had taken many months, but all the horcruxes had been found and destroyed.
The last battle was a long one. Voldmort wasn’t too pleased to learn Harry had found and destroyed his horcruxes. While Harry was facing him off, the people who loved Harry all began to enter the room. They had all been fighting the Death Eaters and Voldemort had chased Harry into a back room of the mansion. That fateful battle, fought at the home of the muggle father Voldemort hated so much. Harry was taunting him, explaining how he had found them all, watching Voldemort’s eyes get narrower and narrower and his face contort in anger. He threw all the Unforgivables Harry’s way, but he was amazingly able to block or dodge them all. After a while of them dueling, Harry had the upper hand and the man who split his soul so many times was running out of strength to fight. Order members began entering the room. Some had died before the battle, and one during. They all came in, almost nonchalantly, victorious from their defeat of the Death Eaters. As they all entered, he seemed to grow weaker and weaker. It was Hermione who realized what was happening to him. As those who loved Harry entered, the love they had for him, and he for them, was taking control of the room. Voldemort didn’t stand a chance. The final person to enter was Ginny. She wasn’t even supposed to be there that night, but she and Luna didn’t take no for an answer. When she came in, she stood right behind Harry and smiled at him. As her mouth curved Harry cast a body bind charm on his opponent. Ron disarmed the evil wizard, who was barely recognizable as a human now. He sat on the floor and watched the Order members surround him. No killing curse was needed however. He was unable to stand such a display of love as they all circled him, their arms open, a tight bond formed between them all. With Harry right over him, looking in his eyes, it was over. Speaking loudly and clearly, the words Neville had taken to saying to every Death Eater who was captured or killed, came from the Boy Who Lived.
“Love defeats Hate.”
With that, those three words, light exploded in the room and it all became clear. Love had won the battle. The body of the man who wanted to take love from the world exploded into millions of pieces. Nothing was left whole but his wand. Ron held it out to his brother, Bill, who destroyed it with a small wave of his wand.
Love had won.
Thanks so much for reading!
Please share your thoughts...
Last edited by nevillesgal; September 18th, 2006 at 6:06 am.
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