Thanks to: Loony Laura for her tireless enthusiasm, even when I tell her we're going to read Harry Potter again.Harry Potter and Dumbledore's Army
Chapter 1 -
Acting The Hero
Sirius Black was falling slowly through the veil of death while Harry screamed at him in terror. Harry's voice cracked as the sobs choked him.
"You'll be safe at home Sirius!" He cried, trying to escape the clutches of his one time Defence Against The Dark Arts teacher. Harry struggled against Lupin, and screamed again as the veil fluttered once, and Sirius Black disappeared. An evil cackle rent the air, the voice of Sirius' own cousin, Bellatrix, who had sent the red stream of light which had knocked Sirius off his feet. Harry felt hot tears of guilt, shame and anger slide across his cheeks.
The images rewound and replayed in his head. This time, Harry said "No, Sirius! Don't leave me!" Still, Remus Lupin's arms encircled Harry's waist and held him back in safety and desperation. The evil witch still laughed. This time she also asked in a singsong baby voice, "Did you love him, bitty Potter?" Harry cried out in full voice for his lost godfather.
A door slammed from somewhere behind Harry, and he spun to face the intruders.
"Ah! I see you have brought a gift. Thaddeus, did he give you difficulty?"
One of the shadows, who had a thin almost invisible line of blood coming from his cheek, answered confidently. "No, My lord."
"No matter." He spoke to them condescendingly in a high and creaking voice that would have made the bravest individual shudder with fear. As it was, the man that the two cloaked shadows brought forth was near to collapsing with terror.
"When we arrived, he was the only one there," the second shadow said. "We thought it best not to attack directly, but to capture this one, and he may help us find the rest. We left Avery to spy on the house, just in case they all come back."
"Good. I knew that lot would be the most difficult. Send out the other three teams. Those families are significantly smaller, and one's even a mudblood. That should be fun for you, Platt. You may join that team." Harry smiled a cruel smile, and stared at the man with blood on his cheek, who had an anticipatory gleam in his eyes. "Leave him. I wish to interrogate him."
"As you wish, my lord." The two shadows muttered with synchronized nods of approval. They had no doubt that breaking this new prisioner would be a minor task for the dark Lord. They left him with his pleasure.
"What do you think of my father's house?" Harry asked darkly. "It's not something I would have originally thought of as useful, as it's so... Muggle." Harry scowled at this as though he had just smelled something revolting. The man who had been brought in whimpered and fell to his knees.
"Are you even listening to me Muggle-lover? Or do you need a reminder?" He pointed his wand at the man's head. "Tympanus" He muttered, and all of a sudden the man grabbed at his ears. "Listen to me, and listen closely." Harry hissed threateningly. The man groaned at the overload of sound. "I want to know where your family is, and what they're planning against me!"
The man groaned, and shut his eyes tight against the pain of the sound.
"Ah yes. I thought you should know that this curse is one of my favorites for torture. It makes sounds increase tenfold no matter if it be a whisper or a groan, it is like hearing someone screaming right next to your head. A footstep," Harry stamped his foot on the floor loudly, and the man leapt and shuddered, "can sound like cannonfire."
Harry had no doubt that the man was already in pain despite the lack of whimpers and groans. In fact the silence told him that the pain was effective.
"If this curse is done often and powerfully enough, it breaks the ability of the ears to distinguish sound. Soon enough you will be completely deaf." He watched with amusement as the man's arms and legs twitched.
"Finite Tympanum." Harry muttered, and the man began to whimper again. "Now tell me, muggle-lover, where is your family."
The man lowered his hands and took a deep breath. Despite his pain and despite his terror, he looked Harry directly in the eyes as he spoke. "I'll never tell you anything."
"Crucio." Harry yelled, and the man's screams filled the chamber and the corridor outside.
For a moment, Harry felt ill. He clutched at his stomach and released the curse. The man lay there panting in pain. Harry's dizziness did not abate. He felt like two separate people... distinctly unwhole. There were two different patterns of emotions inside him. One was angry and pleasured and vengeful and frustrated. The other only had one clear emotion, fear. He concentrated hard on separating the two from each other, and thought he might have succeeded. He felt mostly the fear side of himself, but he could feel the Dark Lord's thoughts and knew he was as yet an undetected presence in Voldemort's mind.
Harry lifted his hand and stared at it intently. The fingers were white and pale and long. They reminded him of white spiders. They didn't feel like they should, and he dropped them abruptly to his sides, the one gripping tight to a thin wand. When he looked down, he remembered what the Dark Lord had been doing all this time. He remembered what he had heard, who he was looking at. Who he was.
A crumpled heap of black robe lay twitching before him. The shock of red hair lay half covered with the shivering arm.
"Oh no..." He could hear two voices coming out of him one was high pitched and screechy, the other low and soft. "Oh no, Percy..." Harry pushed his emotions further apart. He knew the fear felt healthy and good, and the anger was black and vengeful. He took the fear into himself, and pushed the anger away. It took almost all of the mental power he possessed, but he was able to speak. "Percy, it's Harry. I'm going to get help right now. Just... hold him off for as long as possible. He doesn't know what's happened to him yet, don't let him know. Please just hold out a little longer."
Percy, who was unable to form a response simply nodded, his eyes wide and searching.
"I'll help you Percy, I promise."
Percy turned his head back into the bloody braided rug beneath his body, and began to weep.
Harry let his emotions close back in over him again and he felt Voldemort take control once more. He knew he should wake himself up quickly, but he tried drifting to the surface of the dream instead of snapping awake as was his initial instinct. He was able to stay in the dream long enough to hear Voldemort saying in a cackle "You thought you could put a confundus charm on the dark lord? Weak wandless magic does not impress me Muggle-lover. You will pay for your insolence. Crucio."
And Percy's screams broke through the surface of the dream.
Harry sat up in bed with sheets tangled about his torso and chilling sweat soaking slowly into the mattress beneath him. He felt hot tears and beads of cold sweat on his face and the crook of his back, but he wasted no time wiping them off. He had the feeling they would only reappear in the next few crucial minutes. He leapt from the bed tearing at the twisted sheets as he ran to his trunk, which he still hadn't bothered to completely unpack since his arrival at number four Privet Drive two weeks ago.
Hedwig, his snowy owl, was out hunting, and any notes she delivered ran the risk of being intercepted. Besides, it would take too long. All Harry would be able to do under those circumstances would be to sit around waiting for the most painful twinge in his scar that said Percy was dead. Harry didn't want to feel that.
Harry tore the trunk open and began searching through the piles of clothes and junk until he felt a stabbing pain in his palm, and knew he had found what he was searching for. Paying no attention to the splinters of glass which tore through his hands, he collected the shards of mirror and laid them haphazardly on the floor beside him. He searched through the bottom of the trunk for any missing pieces, but wasn't able to see well enough in the dark to know for sure that he had gotten them all.
He paused. Dare he risk underage magic? He was only going on sixteen in two weeks. Seventeen was the accepted limit to be of age for free magic. Harry quickly dismissed any excuse. He needed to do this. He had to get help. A man's life was at stake now. Briefly one of Harry's best friends' voices sounded clearly in his head.
"Don't you think you've got a bit of a... Saving people thing?" Harry couldn't deny that at the time Hermione had been completely correct in her assessment of him. Hadn't he already gotten Sirius killed by trying to run to his rescue?
Another well loved voice fell easily into his mind.
"You're wasting time trying to act the hero."
He ignored Ron's voice too as he pulled out his wand, and pointed it into the trunk.
"Lumos," he quickly whispered. He was able to find two more shards of mirror before he gave the rest up for lost. He now pointed his wand at the pile of glass, and muttered "Reparo." The glass settled itself neatly back together to form an almost unblemished surface. Little nicks and bumps were visibly absent, but the main part of the hand mirror was solid.
Harry held the mirror up to his face, and briefly stared at the lightning-bolt shaped scar on his forehead. He could feel the scar pulsating and twinging with pain, and he felt the unrelated stirrings of frustration which transmitted though the scar - his magical link to the Darkest wizard seen in over a thousand years.
What Harry wouldn't give to be able to use this mirror for its intended purpose. He imagined calling out to Sirius, and asking him to help. But Sirius was gone, and no magic mirror would show his face again. No magic in the world would bring him back.
Harry shook his head. This was no time to be thinking about his godfather.
"Remus Lupin." Harry called, and waited. He was acting now under the assumption that Sirius would have let his best friend know about the mirror, and would have bequeathed it to him upon the event of his death.
"Remus Lupin!" Harry called louder, and he heard the snores of his uncle Vernon in the room next door halt, and the snuffling sounds of a man unjustly awakened.
He began calling out names of any adult wizards with the ability to apparate. Apparition was another thing he had been denied as an underage Wizard, and Harry knew he would have no chance alone against Voldemort without the ability, no matter how strong his 'saving people' instinct. "Remus Lupin! Albus Dumbledore! Minerva McGonagall! Arthur Weasley! Molly Weasley! Fred Weasley! George Weasley! Nymphadora Tonks!..."
Harry trailed off as a sleepy face appeared in the reflection of the mirror that most definitely wasn't Harry's.
"What do you want George?" Fred Weasley yawned widely without looking into the mirror.
Harry should have known that the Weasley twins would own two-way mirrors. Of course it all made so much sense. They were notorious pranksters and probably used the mirrors to plan tricks.
"I'm not George! This is Harry!" He dropped his voice back down to a whisper in the hopes that uncle Vernon would return to his bed.
"Harry? Why are you talking to me? Why at this hour? Where'd you get a two-way mirror?" Fred asked blurrily. He seemed to take in Harry's pale scared face though because his next question was "What's happened?"
"Fred, are you at headquarters right now?" Harry rushed.
"Yes... why?" Fred asked.
"Is your entire family there now?"
"Yes, well... all but Percy, the git." Fred wrinkled up his nose in distaste. Harry's stomach plummeted.
"Fred, get Dumbledore or someone who can help me rescue... someone. Get them right now. We have no time to waste. I need to speak with Dumbledore as soon as possible."
"Did you have another vision?" Fred blanched and stared intently at Harry, who nodded. "Who was it?" Fred asked.
Harry knew Fred wasn't trying to be frustrating right now, it was just that the last true vision Harry'd had was one of Voldemort as a snake attacking Fred's father, Arthur. Now Harry knew he would have to give the same information to Fred again, but it was his about his brother instead of his father.
"Fred, it's Percy."
Fred's reflection disappeared with a yelp and a blur.
Harry gave him as much time as possible to wake up someone else before he tried calling back out to him.
"Fred Weasley!" he waited a moment, then called again. "Fred Weasley!
Harry could hear Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia next door grumbling loudly to each other about that "idiot boy, can't keep his voice down in his damned dreams."
"Fred Weasley!" He called again.
"All right all right, keep your stockings on. I'm here. What else do you need?"
"Fred, you can't let your family leave Headquarters. They're in danger. You are too, but I have a feeling that it's mostly Ron and Ginny they want." Something else very alarming clicked into place with a thud in Harry's brain.
"And Hermione, Luna and Neville should have some people sent to them as well just to make sure they're all right. I have a feeling that it's all those who were in the Department of Mysteries when... That night. Please Fred don't leave the house now."
"Harry?" The wizened face of Harry's headmaster replaced that of Fred's in the mirror. Albus Dumbledore had always been old, but now he looked at least two hundred with waxy skin and with the usual twinkle in his bright blue eyes noticeably absent.
"Professor Dumbledore, sir, Voldemort has got a hold of Percy and he's torturing him. They're at the Riddle Mansion. You need to somehow get him back!"
"Harry," Dumbledore looked intently into Harry's eyes, "are you certain that this was a true vision?"
Harry hesitated. "To be honest sir, no. But how could I live with myself if I didn't at least find out? I promised Percy I would save him!"
Dumbledore looked at Harry, surprised. "You spoke to him?"
Harry started. He hadn't remembered that he had done that. He looked right into his headmaster's eyes so he could see the truth in them. "Yes. I'm not sure how, sir, but I was able to control Voldemort's movements for a few seconds. He thought that Percy was trying to perform a wandless confundus charm on him. I was able to tell Percy that I was going for help, and that he had to just hold him off a bit longer. Please sir, I promised!" Harry let the tears of frustration leak from the corner of his eyes, and Dumbledore could see the desperation with which Harry wrung his hands.
"I'll get together a team, and go out there now."
"The Weasley's can't go to help. There's someone watching their house, and I got the feeling that if another one of them shows up there, he wouldn't hesitate to kill them. They aren't even the only ones in danger."
"Who else?" he asked.
Harry took a deep breath. "I believe that Hermione, Neville, and Luna were also threatened. I think he wants to retaliate for the department of mysteries thing."
"We'll send out people to their houses too."
"Sir... Don't let anyone get hurt please." Harry said worriedly. "I don't want any more deaths... And let me know what happens." he pleaded.
The headmaster nodded. "They will be as safe as we can make them." And his face blurred in the mirror.
Harry didn't sleep that night, and in lieu of trying to sit still, he started packing his trunk. If he was wrong, and one of the teams of death eaters that Voldemort had mentioned was heading his way, then he had better get ready to be out of there as soon as possible. Either that or he would be expelled from school, and living here would be pointless anyhow.
He couldn't help but hope that if he weren't expelled, then maybe this would be the last straw, and that someone would come to get him and take him back to the wizarding world in the morning. He didn't want to stay with his muggle aunt and uncle any longer.
Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon had been better to him this year in that they didn't bother talking to him at all anymore. Last summer he and Dudley Dursley, Harry's cousin had been attacked by two of the Dementors of Azkaban. These were creatures so foul that anyone in the close vicinity would feel all happiness sucked out of him. Of course, muggles couldn't see them at all, so Dudley had blamed Harry for putting a spell on him. Vernon and Petunia didn't care if it had been Harry or not, and they ignored him anyway as if he had.
'Not that a dementor would honestly make that much difference to my current state of mind.' Harry thought to himself dolefully. Harry had been distant and miserable since he'd lost Sirius, and being with people who didn't care or understand had been nearly intolerable. The way he'd dealt with his pain and isolation thus far was by being listless and despondent whenever he had time to himself, or to work his way into a frenzy if he was commanded to do chores.
If the vision he had seen of Percy was false, then Voldemort was trying to trick him into showing up again. As much as he might end up regretting sending Dumbledore, he knew that Dumbledore would have a much stronger chance against him. Harry just wasn't ready.
Never again, Harry thought to himself, will I be stupidly rushing into a battle I know nothing about.