Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters.

Web of Lies.

Dumbledore sat down with Alec and Minerva at his sides. Severus had silently given up his usual place to the youth, and instead, he took one at Alec's other side, protecting him from the curious teachers.

Once they were all seated, Dumbledore calmly started to eat, ignoring the inquisitive glances most of the professors were throwing him. Alec and Minerva quickly followed his lead, even if the younger boy glanced at him from time to time.

They all ate silently; the teachers were keeping their curiosity at bay, knowing that the old man wasn't going to tell them anything until it was the right time.

The nerve-wracking dinner was finally finished, and Dumbledore served tea to everybody. Looking towards his grandson, the old man frowned slightly. "Alec, it's late, you should go to bed."

The boy looked at him in surprise, then he frowned deeply. "Grandfather..."

Dumbledore returned his glare. "Now, Alexander."

When the youth made no move to stand up, Minerva moved from her place. "Come, Alec, I'll take you to your room."

Harry pursed his lips, but obediently stood up, not taking his gaze from the older man. He didn't want to leave; he needed to know what was going on, but he didn't wish to cause a scene in front of all his teachers, so he didn't have a choice but to leave with the woman.

Once they were gone, Severus turned towards Dumbledore. "If you weren't planning to allow him to sit at this meeting, why did you insist he came to eat with us? You know he's going to be mad at you, and with good reason."

Dumbledore nodded slightly and sighed. "I know, Severus. But I wanted to have him with me while the other members of the Order started moving into the castle."

Those words caused several startled looks from the other teachers. Professor Sprout was the one who spoke in name of her companions. "The Order is moving in here?"

Albus nodded lightly. "Yes, they are. Since we no longer have ties with the ministry, I think it will make things safer to have them all close."

Severus frowned deeply. "About that, Albus, don't you think it was a very harsh decision? I mean, I know that you favour the Potter brat, and while I don't agree with you, I know he's important to our side. But to break all the connections with the Ministry of Magic just because the Minister insulted him doesn't seem like a very smart move."

The old man looked at his Potions Master for a very long time, before slowly shaking his head. "I didn't do it because of Harry. That was just the excuse I needed. I have been thinking about breaking the ties with the Ministry for a few weeks, but I didn't want to have to tell Fudge the real reasons of my move for it would have revealed my spies in the Ministry."

The teachers looked at each other confused; Sinistra, who had up until now been sitting quietly at Severus' other side, picked up her cup and sipped a bit before speaking. "If Mr. Potter was not the reason, then why, Albus?"

The old man frowned and looked deeply into his cup. "You all know that Fudge is a greedy man. He denied Voldemort's return for fear that he would lose his position as Minister of Magic. The public opinion is very important to him, and he has lost a great deal with it in the last few weeks." Looking up, he saw most of his professors nodding in agreement. "A few weeks ago, one of my spies reported a plan of the Minister to regain some of his lost popularity."

A small groan came from Professor Vector. "Why do I have the feeling it was something we're not going to like?"

While some of the professors chuckled, Dumbledore remained uncharacteristically serious. "I'm afraid it was quite serious. The Minister was planning to charge in here at the Sorting Feast with a group of aurors and arrest any student that had ever been connected to Death Eaters."

Snape paled drastically, knowing that most of those students would have been Slytherins. "He wanted to do what?!"

Dumbledore regarded him sadly. "You heard me, Severus."

The entire group of teachers looked at him, torn between disbelief and anger. The small Professor Flitwick jumped on his chair. "What was that man thinking about?! They are just children; it's our job to show them that You- know-who is dangerous and dark. We have to help them, not put them in You- know-who's direct path!"

The other teachers nodded in agreement. Madam Hooch scowled deeply. "And what would have happened after they were dragged out of Hogwarts, Albus?"

The headmaster shrugged lightly, quite pleased by his staff's reaction. "Who knows? I really didn't dare to find out, but they would have most probably been sent to Azkaban."

Lupin scowled. "To send children to Azkaban. that man is completely insane! I hate to say this, but we may have another enemy besides Voldemort, Albus."

Dumbledore nodded lightly. "I'm aware of that, Remus, but we should not let them distract us from our main objective. The ministry is not as powerful as they like to think they are, their only power resides in the aurors."

A strong voice interrupted him. "And we all know that at least half of them are loyal to you, Headmaster."

The old man smiled slightly at the young wizard standing at the entrance next to McGonagall. "So are you all settled in?"

The young man nodded lightly and they both took a place at the table. "Yes, everyone is already turning in for the night, tomorrow is going to be a busy day."

Dumbledore nodded, visibly pleased and then turned to them all. "Now that everyone's here, allow me to tell you the changes that are going to take place."

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Dumbledore slowly made his way back to his chambers. The meeting had been stressing; a lot of arguments had arisen while he tried to explain how things were going to go from now on. Finally, with Minerva's help, he had managed to convince everyone of his plans, and even if some of them didn't agree, they trusted him enough to carry on. Severus had already gone to his own room in the dungeons, and now he was walking alone through the empty halls. His thoughts shifted to the teenager who was probably sleeping in his rooms. He had seen the anger in his eyes, and for the hundredth time, he wondered how the boy managed to keep himself in cheek. He had been expecting an argument, not the silent contest of wills that had been cut off by Minerva. Yes, even if the boy was slowly recuperating from his inner scars, he was by no means healed. And somehow, Albus doubted he would ever be. The muggles had done too much damage.

Sighing, he noticed he had reached the gargoyle guarding the entrance to his chambers. Softly, he muttered the password and climbed up the stairs pass his office and to his private rooms. Silently, the old headmaster made his way to his grandson's bedroom, wishing to check on him before going to bed himself.

Having expected Harry to be asleep, he was a bit startled when he saw his slight form sitting in a chair in front of the large window.


The boy had obviously heard him come in, because he only turned around slightly. "Yes?"

Dumbledore frowned lightly at the flat tone of voice. "Alec, I know you're angry, and you've every right to be, but the meeting was about school things; I doubt the other teachers would have approved about you being there."

The boy didn't turn around; he simply nodded his head, keeping his eyes trained outside the window. "You could have allowed me to eat on my own then, it would have been more comfortable for me."

The old man shook his head slightly, approaching the boy. "I wanted you to be with me; a lot of people arrived this evening, and although I trust most of them with my life, I also am wary of possible spies for Voldemort."

Harry stayed silent for a long while before turning around and nodding. Dumbledore narrowed his eyes when he saw the pallor covering the boy's face. "Alec? Are you alright? You're looking pale."

The boy nodded lightly and looked away. "It's nothing, Granddad."

The old man shook his head and forced the boy to raise his head with a gentle hand. "I doubt it's nothing. Are you ill?"

Harry shook his head. "I'm fine..." When he saw the headmaster looking intently at him, he sighed. "Really, I'm fine, just very nervous about tomorrow. What if I look older than all the other students?"

Dumbledore smiled slightly, relieved that that was the only thing bothering the boy. "Alec, you don't look older than them. Minerva and Severus have been working here for a long time and they both think you're eleven."

Harry shrugged slightly, not really convinced. "Could be because they haven't seen me around other children."

Dumbledore raised an eyebrow. "You went to Diagon Alley with Severus. Believe me, he would have noticed."

Harry frowned; he had to concede his headmaster the point. "But what about my disguise? It was easy to hide while staying with you, but I will be seeing my school companions all the time, it will be incredible difficult."

Dumbledore rolled his eyes and with a small wave of his wand, he put a concealing charm on the boy's forehead. "Honestly, Alec, we're back to Hogwarts; I doubt anyone will sense a bit of magic covering you when you stay around about a hundred of magical teenagers."

Harry nodded his thanks; he had been thinking about it, but Dumbledore had been so busy that he hadn't found the time to ask him. Even so, he was by no means completely reassured. "But what if..."

"Enough, Alexander." Dumbledore looked at him sternly for a long moment before softening his face into a smile. "Alec, you've been fooling Severus and Alastor for nearly two months. If neither had noticed anything, a bunch of teenagers aren't going to either."

Before the teen could complain, Dumbledore reached out and pulled him on his feet. "Come on, young one, to bed with you. Tomorrow is going to be a stressing day, and you need your rest."

Harry allowed himself to be tucked in and obediently swallowed the diluted sleeping potion. Dumbledore stayed at his side, gently stroking his hair until he fell into a deep sleep, wondering what adventures his fifth year at Hogwarts would bring.


READ THIS!: Before you start asking, this isn't really the end of Web of Lies, but the fic was just getting too long and I decided to write the school year in an apart fic that will start just when this left off. It's going to be there next week and will be called Web of Lies: Revelations. Enjoy ^.^

A/N: Thanks for all your reviews and thanks to my beta reader Vinnie and to Leena for her help and support.