|The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
Author: EthyleneGlycol PM
Harry Potter returns from his fifth-year bitter and cynical. He has big plans to win the war and change the world in the process, but who will be loyal to him? Friendships will be lost, alliances will be made, change is coming; it's revolution. HP/DGRated: Fiction T - English - Adventure - Harry P. & Daphne G. - Chapters: 2 - Words: 10,446 - Reviews: 77 - Favs: 232 - Follows: 398 - Updated: 01-22-10 - Published: 11-18-09 - id: 5519979
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Disclaimer: Harry Potter not mine and all that jazz.
After much delay, here is chapter of The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, I'll have a longer note at the end, but for now, on with the show.
Chapter Two: The Offer
"Who is that?" I asked, looking at the new professor sitting at the head table.
Hermione gave her very characteristic Hermione-ish huff before answering. I call it her Hermione-ish huff because if anyone else was able to make that noise and express disdain at the same time I would have to label that person as not human. Probably a giraffe; a giraffe with the ability to act superior to every other giraffe while still being a generally good person, an insufferable and self-righteous good person, but a good person all the same.
Through with her huffing, she asked me a question I've heard all too many times over the years, "Honestly Harry, didn't you pay attention?"
"Attention to what Hermione? I did pay attention to the possibility of setting fire to Snape's greasy hair."
"Professor Snape, Harry."
"Whatever," I said, frustrated with her, and everyone else's, attempts to have me willingly place the words 'Professor' and 'Snape' in the same sentence, in a respectful way. I would have no problem with saying, 'Snape wouldn't know how to be a Professor if it walked up and shrunk his nose to a normal size,' but alas, some consider that to be immature.
"Please Hermione, drop the holier-than-thou attitude and tell me what this big secret is. You scolding me like a child does nothing."
If she had been anymore taken aback by my response she would have been eating last night's feast all over again. I think I shocked the answer out of her. She knew that both Ron and I didn't always appreciate her lectures, but I doubt that she ever imagine that we were upset by them. Holier-than-thou, remember?
"That's Professor Karamazov, the new defense teacher. Dumbledore hired him away from Durmstrang," said Hermione, dully, as if she were answering a teacher's question, without her normal excitement and enthusiasm. She looked generally rebuffed by my previous statements, but I found myself to have little concern for them. This wasn't the Harry who lashed out at everyone during fifth year because he was angry at everything. This was the Harry who knew who and what he was angry with and knew how to direct it to get things done. Hermione was one of many to have drawn my ire. She had to have an idea of the state I was in at the end of last year, but she did nothing; nothing to help the person who is supposed to be one of her best friends. I knew Hermione had an absurd amount of respect in authority figures, which is why I was unable to get as mad at her for what she had done as I had Ron. She also was never a jealous git, unlike a jealous git I know so very well. Regardless of her reasoning, it still hurt, and just like Ron, I needed to know where her loyalties laid.
"Harry, what's wrong? You've been angstier than usual."
"I'm fine Hermione, just getting used to eating again."
"Harry? What happened to you?"
"Nothing Hermione. Remember, I was in the safest place I could be after all."
"Harry, please don't do this to us. We're your friends. We're on your side. You know you can trust us."
I couldn't take this. My magic and my anger, both so near the surface these days, were both beginning to bubble over, threatening to engulf us both. I watched her eyes widen. She was scared. Good. Maybe this time she'll learn that she needs to be able to trust me and my ability to make my own decisions.
"Trust you? You want me to trust you? After what you lot put me through this summer?" My eyes were flashing, I saw Hermione backing away from me, but I didn't care, these things needed to be said, "You don't trust me Hermione! You trust those who you expect to think for you! Do you think I care what Dumbledore says in concern of my well-being? I won't make you think too hard. I don't care one bit! Look at where Dumbledore's influence has gotten my well-being. I was a tortured slave, Hermione, and you and the rest of my supposed friends did nothing but enable Dumbledore's agenda, which in turn added to the direness of my situation. Trust? You want trust? You have to earn it Hermione, and right now, you have the entire slope of Everest to climb."
I took a deep breath and turned away from her, striding down the length of the table, heading back to the dormitory. I needed some breathing room and I didn't want to lose face in front of Hermione. She had been long due for that, but that doesn't mean I enjoyed doing it. I still cared about her. I still wanted to be friends with her. Hell, I even cared about Ron, even though there was no doubt as to where he would turn when the chips were down. In a world where Harry Potter had many friends, these two would be of no concern. But I had to be the bigger man. I had to show them that even if they didn't value my friendship, I valued there's. There was nothing I could do but wait and hope for the best I suppose.
I had just started up the steps when I ran straight into McGonagall.
"Mr. Potter, where are you off to?"
"I'm on a journey to the center of the Earth," I responded, lacking a better response.
"I hope that journey doesn't detain you for too long, Mr. Potter, as you have classes to attend and a Quidditch team to captain," she responded with her usual brusqueness.
I smiled a little, McGonagall never missed a beat.
"Captain, Professor? Wouldn't someone like Katie be a better choice? She has seniority at the very least."
"No Mr. Potter, there is no doubt in my mind that you would be the best choice for captain this year. Ms. Bell owled me within a week of term ending last summer to inform me that you would be a much better choice to lead the team this year. I whole-heartedly agree with her," she said, and pulled the Captain's badge from one of the pockets of her robe and handed it to me, "Don't give me reason to doubt this choice, Harry."
"I won't, Professor," I said, with an odd feeling. It was respect. I realized that McGonagall was one of the few authority figures that I had any wish to work with. Her opinion mattered to me and this was a newfound feeling. Those in power never gave me any reason to trust them: Dumbledore played with my life from afar, Fudge defamed and belittled me, and Umbridge, I thought, with an almost visible shudder, was just a cruel and sadistic bitch. "Are you sure I'm the right person?"
"You're a leader Mr. Potter, and if the DA has taught us anything, it's that you're a good one."
I didn't know how to respond to that, "Thank you."
"You've earned it, Harry, don't let me down."
"I won't, Professor, thank you again."
I started to walk away, thinking our impromptu meeting had come to a close. I was mistaken though, as I heard her voice call to me.
"Now Mr. Potter, here is your schedule. We mustn't forget that this is primarily a place of education. While I expect you to do well on the Quidditch pitch, I also expect your success in the classroom. You've been holding back on us, Mr. Potter, if your exam scores were any indication."
"Probably a fluke, Professor McGonagall."
"Nine O.W.L.s, six of them outstanding, is no fluke, Mr. Potter. There is no shame in taking pride in one's achievements."
I knew I was smart. I had always known it. The Dursleys didn't appreciate me outshining their 'Dudders' though; I learned to hide it. Being smart brought attention to a person and attention was something I never wanted. I was never unnoticed in the Wizarding World and if I could get through school without being recognized for anything, the happier I'd be. I was Harry. I always wanted to be Harry. Not the intelligent, athletic, and world-saving Harry. Just Harry. But that was something I never was and probably am destined to never be. Especially after I defeat Voldemort; the prophecy said that either one of us could die, and I have no intention of doing so. The next time me and ol' Tommy Boy meet will prove to be a duel for the ages.
"What's wrong, Harry?"
As I looked into her face, I knew that she knew why I was modest to a fault. I don't know how I could tell, but she knew, and I could also tell that she and Dumbledore would be having a long talk about my life, thus far, in the near future. I glanced down at my schedule, grimacing when I saw that I had Potions in the afternoon.
"I have Potions on the first day back," I responded, in a half-hearted attempt to direct her attention away from the issue of my extreme modesty.
Surprisingly, she let out a laugh, a laugh that sounded like it came from a woman half her age.
"Harry, don't let him get you down, you might find that he's a changed this year. You didn't hear this from me, but if he starts to give you trouble, transfigure something into a butterfly," she said, with what looked like a wink; had to have been a speck of dirt.
I chuckled, "A butterfly? Did he once end up on the wrong end of a fight with a moth?"
"Let's just say that there was once a disagreement involving Severus and your father and one of them ended up with butterfly wings for a week."
I laughed, picturing a surly, greasy, and gangly Snape with vibrant wings sticking out the back of his robes.
"Well, Mr. Potter," she began, regaining her formality, "I must distribute the schedules of the rest of the House, have a good first day. By the way, what is your first class?"
I looked at my schedule, "Defense Against the Dark Arts, Professor."
"Trust me, you're going to like Professor Karamazov, Mr. Potter," she said, walking off down the corridor.
As I watched her go, I couldn't help thinking, 'I already do, Professor. I already do.'
"All of you, sit down and shut up. Ve have tings to do today and I will not be hindered by the likes of you."
I had to give it to the new Russian Defense Professor, the man knew how to command the attention of the class. Unlike Professors McGonagall and Snape he didn't do it through intimidation, he was able to do it through a combination of brute force and a ruthless attitude towards the likes of us. When some educators attempt this technique they fail miserably, but in Professor Karamazov's case, there was a feeling that disagreeing with him would bring dire consequences upon the perpetrator. This new professor had seen much and done much and he had the air of man who knew how to always come out on top.
"Now, I don't believe in taking ze roll, but Profeszor Dumbledore says dat it is very important. I disagree, but maybe dat is why I am not ze Headmaster, but only a lowly Profeszor. If you do not want to come to class, don't, I'm sure dat ve von't miss you," he said the last part while looking at everyone's favorite ferret. To his credit, Malfoy was able to keep a visible reaction to a minimum, or maybe it was just that magenta was a fitting color for his complexion.
"Now, for ze roll," he said, while pulling a roll of parchment from inside his robes, "you will respond promptly and clearly when your name is said. If you do not…well let's just say I'm not a patient person and being kept waiting vill make me an unhappy man."
As he read through our names I couldn't help focusing on this man in front of me. He was similar to a Remus Lupin that was 30 years older. Except instead of appearing fatherly and congenial, he gave off the air of one's uncle who just retired from the armed services. Ivan Karamazov was not a man to be trifled with.
"Harry Potter," said Karamazov, his sharp voice cutting through my thoughts.
"Here," I responded, not wanting to keep him waiting.
He looked at me for a second, his gaze intent; he was searching for something. I just hoped that I would pass whatever test he was subjecting me to, because I don't think I would like the consequences if I failed.
"You will stay after class, Mr. Potter."
And with that, as if nothing had happened, he continued on with attendance. I could feel everyone's eyes on me but I didn't care. I was shocked. What did he want from me? He probably knew 75 ways to kill me before I would be able to raise a hand in defense.
With a snap, Karamazov shoved the list of names into a draw contained somewhere within his giant desk. He looked at up us, a mysterious glint in his eyes, and slowly surveyed the room; he was sizing us up, or at least, that's how I felt. Looking around the room myself, I determined that I wasn't the only one that felt this way. In fact, taking in Neville's gulping and Ron's profuse sweating, I thought I was in pretty good shape, all things considered.
"As you all should be aware of, my name is Profeszor Ivan Karamazov, and I shall be referred to as such. I am better than all of you and you shall show me the respect that is deserving of a man in my position. If you try and outsmart me, you vill fail. If you try and take me on, you vill fail. If you try and sneak behind my back, you vill fail, and you vill experience my wrath in its strongest form. This is the only varning I vill give you, do not expect me to be forgiving."
I swear I could hear Neville quietly sniffling behind me, but being too afraid to take my eyes off of Professor Karamazov, I decided that it would be better off imagining Neville was quietly sobbing, as opposed to confirming my suspicions and being cursed by this unfeeling man in front of me.
"I am not here because I vant to be, I am here because just as it seems so many others do, I owe Dumbledore a favor. If I like this job, perhaps I shall stay. But if you all prove to be just as unteachable as any other group of children, I shall resign from this position, with great prejudice, at the end of the year."
I noticed the lack of title that he gave to Dumbledore, and by the look of consternation on Hermione's face, she did as well. Regardless, any person who wasn't utterly loyal to Dumbledore, as so much of the wizarding world appeared to be, was someone I could get behind. This Russian was definitely the type of man I could find a reason to work with.
"Now if you don't tink you're up to scratch vit how I vill be teaching you, please leave and do not return. I vill not have anyone slowing down the progress of this class," he pointed to the door, "You all can see it. If you don't think you're ready for this class, please leave. Now!"
Nobody moved. Perhaps they wanted to learn from him, perhaps their fear made essential motor functions an impossible task; whatever their reasoning was, they were going to learn from the Professor. Willingly or unwillingly, the reason didn't matter, not to my fellow students and certainly not to Professor Karamazov. Just like Dumbledore, he straddled the line that separated insanity and genius. Unlike Dumbledore, who stayed firmly in between the two, I had a feeling this man enjoyed jumping back and forth, just for the sake of keeping everyone on their toes. An opponent you can't predict is an opponent that has already become more dangerous. Professor Karamazov may just be the most dangerous man this side of Voldemort.
He abruptly stopped speaking, "Class dismissed."
I got up with the rest of the class, but instead of rushing towards the door like everyone else, with trepidation I made my way towards the front of the room where Professor Karamazov was staring at me as if he were a fisherman sizing up his catch.
"I understand you must defeat the Lord of Darkness, no?"
Apparently the nomenclature is different on mainland Europe; they appeared to be just as afraid of the name as we are here though.
"No, Mr. Potter, do not mistake my reluctance to use his name with fear. My reasons are not vital to this discussion but if you continue to make assumptions of my motives or of I, this discussion is over and no discussions shall take place in the future. Do I make myself clear?"
He said this all without a trace of the accent he had earlier, something I took note of but refused to question him about, "What did you want to talk about, Professor?"
"You're learning, Mr. Potter," he said, with a trace of a smile, "Now, yes or no, his defeat comes down to you?"
Damn my lack of Occlumency, "Yes, Professor, it does."
"Just as I figured. Only those with the blindest of loyalty for Dumbledore would assume differently. That is just about everyone on this godforsaken island though. You have a class, I presume?"
"You are dismissed. I will be in the Entrance Hall at nine o'clock tonight, don't keep me waiting."
I was sprinting down the corridor to the dungeons, not wanting to be late for the first Potions class of the year and losing Gryffindor the largest amount of points ever seen in Hogwarts' history at any point in time. My mind was racing from the short conversation that just took place but I knew that if I wanted to avoid trouble in Snape's classroom I was going to have to shove those thoughts to the side for awhile, at least until Snape stopped paying attention to me and settled down to malevolently glare at me from time to time; such a wonderful student-professor relationship we had. I can see it now, my biography containing three chapters about my interactions with Snape. It would read like a soap opera I imagine; people painting Snape as some sort of misunderstood man who had been hurt too many times by those he loved as opposed to the bitter and twisted man that he is.
"Class started two minutes ago, Potter. If you're going to be a celebrity, you have to learn how to keep a tight schedule, what with all those press conferences and photo-ops. Twenty points from Gryffindor; sit down immediately unless you want it to be more."
"Let's just see how high you can count, Sevvy," I said, defiantly crossing my arms and holding steady at the threshold of the door.
"Detention Potter, tonight at nine o'clock, in the Entrance Hall."
Surprised at the place and time I walked meekly over to a spare seat and sat down next to Seamus. Was it a coincidence or did he know something?
"Now that our beloved celebrity has made it to class," Snape said, with a sneer aimed in my direction, he waved his wand at the board, causing miniscule instructions to appear, "You may begin."
I stood up, along with the rest of the class, and made my way over to the store cupboard, retrieving the ingredients needed for what I was sure was going to be a complex and finicky potion; wouldn't want to let us off too easy on the first day.
"Get out of my way, Potter," came a voice dripping with venom, "I have better things to do than stand behind you while you're dragging your feet."
I quickly turned and found myself looking down into those dark eyes I had seen only one night before, "Your wish is my command, my lady," I said, pantomiming a mocking bow.
In one quick movement she had spun around and had her wand drawn and pointed directly between my eyes.
"What did I tell you about testing your luck, Potter?"
I was about to answer her but a shout from the front of the classroom interrupted my forthcoming response.
"Potter! Greengrass! Just what is it do you think you're doing?"
"I was just trying to deflate his head, Professor Snape," said Daphne, in an irritating display of faux innocence that I could never hope to pull off.
"Why are you antagonizing my students, Mr. Potter?"
"I felt like it, Professor," I replied, not removing my eyes from Daphne's wand.
"Greengrass, put the wand down and return to your cauldron. Potter, if you would be so kind as to put even a small fraction of the effort you use in maintaining your arrogance into this class, I would be much obliged," Snape said, sweeping away to terrorize Parvarti and Lavender.
"You heard him, Potter, get away from me!"
"But of course," I responded, quickly grabbing what I needed from the store cupboard and striding over to my already boiling cauldron.
She sure is something else, I thought, glancing over; her hair was tied up in a ponytail and she was vigorously chopping at her ginger roots; an important ingredient in what a quick glance at the board informed me was eventually supposed to be Skele-Gro.
"Harry," came Hermione's voice from my left-side, "you need to stop antagonizing Professor Snape and the Slytherins."
"Why would I consider doing that, Hermione? Out of respect? Out of fear? Out of what exactly? I neither fear nor respect Snape and I have no intention of giving him the impression of either. He is a bitter and spiteful little man who deserves nothing but the worst in life. As for the Slytherins, what would be the point of acting courteous towards them? The hope that they'll come to accept me as a person rather than someone which scorn should be heaped upon? That's a nice dream Hermione; it's a utopia in fact. Utopias do not exist."
"If everyone worked together one could. If you worked with the Slytherins, or at least found some common ground, I would imagine a harmonious existence could be derived from the cooperation. You don't have to keep fighting them, Harry."
I paused, taking a deep breath; I was both frustrated and gripped by admiration for her stubbornness. As brilliant as she was, her enduring optimism and sense of goodwill would be her downfall. She had something I could never hope to emulate; an ability to see only the good side of people and things and as a result saw no reason for the best possible outcome for everyone to occur every time. My worldview, as jaded as it has become, did not allow for this. People may be inherently good but when you only see the worst of humanity you don't have much hope for a display of goodwill from those who dislike you. Snape and the Slytherins could be bloody saints for all I care; as long as I only continue to experience the anger and resentment directed towards me from them, I will continue to see them as petulant children; deserving of all the terrible things that life has in store for them. Does this make me spiteful? Probably. But when your life is governed by a scar on your forehead and some vague words from a funny little woman, sometimes spite is all you have.
"Harry?" whispered Hermione, breaking my reverie, "Did you hear what I said?"
"I have to keep fighting them Hermione, that's all there is to it. If I give into this lot, how can I hope to standup to Voldemort and his minions?"
"It's not the same Harry…" she started, but I cut her off.
"It's exactly the same, Hermione. It's all about a test of wills between The-Boy-Who'd-Rather-Not-Have-to-Deal-With-This-Shit and Voldemort's personal idiot squad. If I lose, Hermione, we all lose."
"You're not in this alone, Harry," she said, resting what I would imagine she considered to be a comforting hand on my shoulder. I could have laughed out loud at that statement, but she of course didn't know the whole story.
"I know that, Hermione, but that doesn't mean I need to give in to the Slytherin House and its personal vendetta against me."
"Just leave it, Hermione," I said, adding the last ingredient of the potion for this step of the process.
"Ok, Harry, if that's what you want," a defeated tone permeated her voice.
She'll learn one day, if she doesn't, this world is going to chew her up and spit her out and all of her brilliance will be for naught.
"Leave your cauldrons the way they are for now; if you have done it right you will pick up where you left off next class; if it was brewed wrong, you will know," he said this, saving a malevolent glare just for me, "Class dismissed."
I had my things packed up and was turning to leave when once again I heard the voice I most loathe come from behind me, "Would you stay behind for a minute, Potter? There is something I'd like to discuss with you and I'm sure your…sidekicks…will be fine without you for a few minutes."
"Go ahead guys, I'll be along to dinner in a few minutes."
"Alright, Harry," said Ron, turning to leave.
"Let me take your bag," Hermione said, taking it from me and leaving with Ron.
"What did you want to discuss with me, sir?"
"There's a reason why I gave you detention when I did, Potter. Do you know what that reason is?"
"Good. I ask of you to not be a hotheaded and impudent child this evening; this meeting will benefit not only you, but I as well, and though I do not feel comfortable risking my future on you, it is the only option available to me. Now go, I will see you tonight."
Dinner was a stilted affair that evening: I was battered by questions from all sides, questions that I had no answers too. Nobody believed that though; I was Harry Potter, the Chosen One, how could I not have the answers to Snape's reason for giving me detention? Though I had to wonder, since when had he ever needed a reason?
"Hey mate," said Ron, as I started desert, having weathered the storm of questions from most of my fellow house. Ginny's storm of drool might need a mop though; perhaps Madame Pomfey had a potion to cure whatever was wrong with her salivary glands, "What did Snape keep you after class for?"
Of course this piqued everyone's interest once again. Damn your timing, Ron, damn your timing.
"Oh you know, the usual threats. 'If you step out of line one more time, Potter, I'll have your head' or 'If you insist on acting like an arrogant child with an inflated sense of self-worth, a week of nights spent disemboweling skunks would clear that right up, don't you think?' Seriously Ron, it was nothing out of the ordinary for Snape."
"Remember, Harry," Hermione said from my other side, as Ron returned to the food in front of him, "You don't have to keep struggling against him. The Slytherins may not be on your side, but Snape is."
I snorted derisively at this comment, "No Hermione, he is most definitely not on my side. On our side? Maybe, but I think that's debatable as well. I think the only side Snape is on is Snape's side; at the moment that includes Dumbledore. It does not include anyone else."
"Harry, why are you suddenly so bitter? What happened to you?"
Genuine concern shown from her eyes but it was not the time for me to divulge the previous events of this summer. I needed to find out what Snape and Karamazov wanted with me before I moved forward at Hogwarts. If I told Hermione about my rocky relationship with the Dursleys, I would be pinned under Dumbledore's thumb for the duration of my remaining time at school; something I could not afford.
"Let's just say…I did some growing this summer."
For the most part this statement was actually true, as I had managed to grow about a half-foot since the end of June. Of course Hermione would see right through this, but I still received some gratification for not telling an outright lie to one of my oldest and dearest friends; one of my oldest and dearest friends at the moment anyway.
"I can see right through that facade, Harry; I care about what caused you to change this summer and you know it."
I pinched the bridge of my nose in frustration, "I know Hermione, but I can't talk about it right now. I have a detention in," I checked my watch, yes it's a new one, I splurged on something for myself the first time in my life, "roughly forty-five minutes, and I want to go and calm down first so I don't blow up on Snape in the first ten minutes. After that, I can make no promises."
I got up to leave and Hermione stood up right along with me.
"It may not seem like it sometimes, but I believe in you, Harry," and with this, she wrapped her arms around me in a style that must be reminiscent of a teenage Molly Weasley.
"Thank you, Hermione, really."
With a small smile I strode into the Entrance Hall and out onto the grounds to take a calming stroll in the moonlight. Remus taught me some simple meditative exercises for situations like these; who would have thought a temperamental teen would ever need help in cooling down?
I opened the doors to the castle at precisely nine o'clock and was greeted by the visages of Professors Karamazov, Snape, and surprisingly, McGonagall.
"Mr. Potter, we don't have much time so I plead that you hold your tongue and listen to what Professors Karamazov and Snape have to say."
"How did you know about this meeting, Professor McGonagall?" I asked.
"I initiated it. Now quiet, anymore questions can be answered in a few minutes."
"Alright, Mr. Potter, we have a lot to talk about and not much time to do it before we are discovered. What I want to submit for your consideration is a temporary escape, for you, from underneath Dumbledore's thumb. This sojourn will allow you to refine your skills and hopefully with this training you will become a formidable threat to not only the Dark Lord, but as a way of keeping Dumbledore's manipulative hands off of you. Are you with me thus far?"
My head was spinning. Wasn't this the opportunity I had been waiting for? A chance to get away from Dumbledore and his influence, a chance to acquire the tools I needed to win this war, a chance to be free. Of course I was with Professor Karamazov; he was telling me the things I was so desperate to hear.
"Severus, I believe you had a few words to say?"
As Snape opened his mouth to begin speaking, I couldn't help objecting.
"You want me to follow a plan that Snape has devised? A man who despises me? Do I look like I'm stupid? That I'm incapable of rational decisions?"
"Quiet, foolish boy. Severus is the only reason I'm able to offer you this…vacation…and you will listen to him and you will approve of what he has to say."
"Yes, indeed. Thank you, Ivan," said Snape, in his usual silky tone, "Now, Mr. Potter, there are contacts in America that I am in touch with for Order business and it is my belief that you would benefit us all by spending some time in their hands as opposed to being slowly crushed by Dumbledore's boot-heel. Wouldn't you agree?"
"I suppose so, sir," I replied, unable to keep the biting tone from my voice.
Professor Karamazov stepped back into the conversation, "Are we in agreement then, Mr. Potter, you will go to America and become the wizard that you truly need to be? Quickly now, we don't have much time. You must decide now, Mr. Potter, Dumbledore and death or America and a chance. There is no other route for you, for the entire world as we know it, I am afraid."
I thought for a moment; what Karamazov and Snape were offering me was tempting, more tempting than anything I had ever been offered before. Even the boundless power and eternal life that Voldemort had once offered me could not compare to this. They were offering me freedom; something I had never had before.
"Do you trust this idea, Professor?" I asked, turning to look at McGonagall.
"I do Harry."
"Do you think this is the best way for these goals to be accomplished?"
"Best way? Not necessarily. But then again, this is really the only way. You have to get away from the British Isles and Continental Europe, and unless you want to be mired in the uncompromising mess and wild that is Southeast Asia and South and Central America, North America is the only place on this planet that is free from Albus' influence. Ivan has provided the means and Severus has supplied the needed personnel."
I turned to face Snape and Karamazov.
"Let's do it."
"The plan is quite simple. We have a portkey ready and waiting to send you to America at six-thirty tomorrow morning. Severus' people have been alerted to expect your arrival and will provide you with further instructions when you are on American soil. I do not want to say too much yet as there may be unwelcome eavesdroppers within this castle."
"How do you plan on explaining away my absence to Dumbledore and the school? Harry Potter's sudden disappearance would not go unnoticed in the best of times, and these times are certainly not anything like the best."
"We have that covered Harry," said McGonagall, reentering the conversation, "I do not like this anymore than you do, but it is the best option available to us and it needs to be done. You are needed to defeat Voldemort and free the world from his grasp and the Headmaster is simply not providing you with the tools needed to defeat him. I have met the people you will be staying with and learning from and they are fine people on all accounts. Good luck, Harry; I will be seeing you in about a month's time."
With those parting words, she turned on her heel and strode quickly into the semi-dark that engulfed the interior of the castle.
"What's the plan?" I asked of the two men standing in front of me.
"You will find out when you reach the States; the less you know while inside of this castle the better off you will be. Severus and I will meet you at the gates to see you off. Good night, Mr. Potter."
"One more question. Where exactly in North America am I going?"
And with that they left, leaving me alone in the dim light of the Entrance Hall.
Shit. I didn't even know where Wisconsin was.
A/N: This chapter took me a lot longer for me to finish than I had originally planned, but between finals, writer's block, discarding four different outlines for the direction I wanted to take the story, and transferring to a new university, it took me awhile to finally finish getting all I wanted for this chapter onto paper. Now that I know where I want this story to go and I'll be able to play around with a new environment hopefully updates will take two weeks at the max, but I'm not going to promise anything. Regardless, I hope you enjoyed this chapter and are looking forward to the next one. I do read all the reviews so if you have something to say about the story don't be afraid to drop me a line; in fact I encourage you to do so, whether it be criticism or just saying you enjoyed the story.