A/N: Letters, many letters. Standard disclaimers apply; I do not own anything but the plot.
Albus Dumbledore was sitting at his desk in his office debating between a lemon sorbet and trying once again to get a good flavor from a Bertie Botts every flavor bean when an owl came for him. The owl was not one he recognized, and he smiled in anticipation of something new. Taking the rather heavy letter from the owl, He released it to find the owlery. Albus looked at the sender's name and was mildly startled to find it was from America. Opening the letter, he began to read.
To: Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster, Hogwarts
From: Robert Evans
Mr. Dumbledore my name is Robert Evans, and I have something to share with you. It may sound impossible or insane but I have included all pertinent information at my disposal, as well as the train of logic that leads me to believe the world is soon to face a larger threat than Voldemort.
Albus stopped reading at this point and frowned. Yet another threat. For more than fifty years Albus had been dealing with threats and he was tired of it. Yet, he could no more refuse to fight evil than he could choose to stop breathing. He picked up the letter and read it.
Eight hundred years ago, Elric Evans wrote a prophecy with foretold both Voldemort and Harry Potter. It gives certain signs that lead to the rise of an even greater threat that I believe will encompass wizards and muggles alike. I have enclosed a copy of this prophecy, my reasoning about it, and all the actual proofs I have. The reason I am writing you is my daughter. Rose has the Evans Sight, and last night she dreamed of attending Hogwarts with her brother and six other students. These students were described, and I have included those descriptions in the materials here. Knowing your reputation, I feel certain that you should be able to put a name to those students.
Any assistance you could give in this matter would be appreciated.
Albus spent the next three hours looking at all the information Robert Evans had sent him. When he was finished, he sat deep in thought for a very long time. Making the decision to at least check the possibilities in the prophecy, he send a half dozen owls, to various people, seeking proof that Elric Evans had existed, and written it.
Over the next two days, Dumbledore found his thoughts returning to the letter repeatedly. As responses to his owls came in, his heart got heavier and heavier. Elric had indeed lived, and as the only person with a soulbond to survive the death of the other person, even if only by a day, his case was in all the books about soulbonds. Albus also found the prophecy in several other places, and he could not deny the accuracy of its description of the Voldemort War. A wry thought passed though his mind at that point. It certainly would have been nice to know that Voldemort was going to lose when the War was at its peak. On further reflection though he decided that if they had known, they might have gotten careless and taken more causalities than they had. When the last of his owls had been answered he took all the information he had gathered and compared it with Robert's materials. When he was done, he sat back and thought. Taking quill in hand, be began a letter to Mr. Evans.
To: Robert Evans
From: Albus Dumbledore
Mr. Evans after researching the items you sent me I am of a mind to agree with you that the prophecy is valid. A number of things come to mind that you should know about. First and most important, do not approach Cornelias Fudge with this. The Minister of Magic is rather stubborn and would attempt to pretend it was not happening, rather than cause a fuss.
Second, they may be some difficulty in having your children attend Hogwarts. You were correct. I feel quite certain I can put names to at least five of the students your daughter described, and from what I know of those children, they fit at least four of the prophecy's lines.
Robert felt a wave of relief as he finished Dumbledore's letter. Getting the children into Hogwarts without his help would have been much harder. Crossing to the fireplace, He contacted his business agent in England, and arranged to make a trip there the following week. He had a plan to deal with the board of directors of Hogwarts. After all, Hogwarts as a school that charged fees to attend, which meant it was a business, even if the students never really saw that side of it, and like all businesses, it needed to turn a profit. He merely planned to offer them enough money that they would overlook the American birth of James and Rose. Robert met with the board of governors, and persuaded them to take the twins, with the help of Dumbledore and by paying for the entire 7 years for both of them up front. After that, He met with Albus to plan the next couple of years.
To: Marvin Hedges, Superintendent of Enrollment, North American School of Wizardry.
From: Robert Evans.
The children in question, James and Rose Evans will not be attending your school. This does not show any lack of confidence in your teaching abilities, it merely reflects certain outside circumstances that do not involve the NASW.
While they will not be attending your school, rest assured that the annual Cumulus donation will be forthcoming.
The next four months were very busy for both Robert and Albus as Dumbledore put Robert in touch with people in Europe that could be trusted, and were willing to get involved. One of the first people to be told was Harry Potter, which was only fitting as his oldest child, a young lady by the name of Tiffany Potter was one of the students Rose had seen in her dream. Robert made three more trips to Europe, setting contingencies in place, in case things went wrong. He met with Harry and his wife Ginny, as well as Ruben Hagrid and the youngest Weasley son. Ron and Hermoine Weasley had another of the suspected children that Rose had seen, a fiery redhead with the Weasley temper and brown eyes. Hagrid's son Hangeld was also one. Those were the only students that Albus named, but something told Robert that they were not the only names he knew. Finally, the letters were sent to the students for their first year, and Albus, Harry and Robert made plans for a face-to-face meeting, about two weeks before the school year began.
To: The Potters, Clearwaters, Weasleys, Rubens, and Creevys.
CC: Albus Dumbledore, Minerva McGonagall, Servius Snape, and Jose Amigo.
From: Robert Evans.
Friends and Allies,
Unless any of you can think of something else, we have done all we can do until the Patient Child begins, or we identify him. Mr. Amigo, that is your priority. The Weasley family will be the center of the informational clearinghouse, as they have more people and are far enough away from large population centers that odd visitors can come and go unnoticed. The Potters are tasked with finding more people that can be trusted; And Hagrid is our link to the non-humans. The Clearwaters know what they're doing, and I believe they staff of Hogwarts will have enough to do, keeping track of the Eight during the year. If anyone needs anything, don't hesitate to ask. I have already been working on this for ten years, and I am prepared to do whatever it takes to see our children safely through it.
Albus read this letter and frowned. Robert Evans was an intense man, with a strong sense of rightness, but once he set his mind to something, he could not be swayed. That could be a good thing, or a bad one, and Albus was not sure how far Robert was willing to go to stop the Patient Child. He had already used his money and power in ways that were ... not wrong, but very close to that line. Albus was not the only one worried about Robert's single-minded pursuit. Harry and Ginny had both said something to Dumbledore, as well as Ron Weasley. Albus wasn't sure what they could do if he did go too far, but it was definitely something to remember. Dumbledore was very aware that Robert was mad about his wife and children, and that both of his children were almost certainly two of the Eight. That was not a combination Albus was particularly happy with, given the monetary power Robert wielded so skillfully. Thinking of the Eight led his thoughts down another path, one he would have to reveal soon. Albus was certain he could put names on seven of the Eight, and one of those names was going to be a bit of a problem. Albus decided to bring it up at the meeting, and not to worry about it until then.
As important as this all was, the business of running a school goes on, and Albus was having a problem finding one student that was supposed to attend this year. He had finally located her, and today, he had to speak to her. Dumbledore smiled faintly, ironically. This student would cause more problems than all the others combined, if she was not handled just right. He considered Mercy's file again and frowned. Yes, this was going to be an interesting year.
After he saw Mercy, Albus went over the files of the all the first year students again. He looked at the Eight's files and was struck by a thought that he would rather have not had. Between them, the eight students he thought were part of the prophecy were a serious force to be reckoned with even now, untrained as they were. In seven years, they would be among the most powerful wizards and witches on the planet. Who was the Patient Child, that such a force was needed to fight him?
A/N: Good question Albus, and the Interlude series of shorts will answer that. (Shameless plug, wasn't that?) You are not going to hear about Mercy again until Christmas, but keep her in mind. She is going to be a very big part of all this, bigger than anybody but the Eight. Of course, that's assuming she lives. Now that you've read this, read Mary's story. Thank you for taking the time to read my humble offering, and please, let me know what you think of it.