Reposted on 11/8/05
THE NEW ORDER
Chapter One: Restructuring
Harry Potter was lying in his bed in the smallest bedroom in number four Privet Drive while his mind was awash with conflicting thoughts. He had returned from Hogwarts three weeks before and had yet to leave his room for any amount of time except to use the bathroom.
First and foremost on his mind was the death of his godfather, Sirius Black, who had been killed by his own cousin, Bellatrix Lestrange, at the end of Harry's fifth year. Every night his dreams were plagued with images of Sirius falling through the veil in the Department of Mysteries in a battle that should never have happened. A battle that Harry believed that he himself had caused. Though there are many that could rightfully be blamed for this outcome, such as Dumbledore for not pressing the urgency for Harry to learn Occlumency and trusting Snape off all people to teach him, he shouldered the full weight himself. True, it was Bellatrix that had killed him and it was Voldemort that had ordered the attack, but it was Harry that had been tricked into leaving the safety of the Hogwarts grounds.
Harry suddenly shot out of his bed and rested his head in his hands as he tried to suppress many painful memories as a lone tear made its way down his cheek. Through the first weeks of summer his friends had tried to get him to open up and discuss what he is truly feeling but the repetition of these letters had only served to piss Harry off. After ten years with the Dursley's, before going to Hogwarts, he was used to hiding his pain from the world and it would take more than a few concerned letters to get him to open up and release it.
While rubbing the tears out of his eyes he looked up to hear tapping on his window. Looking over at his desk he noticed that Hedwig was not in her cage and figured she must be returning from hunting. Opening the window to let her in he was met by only one sight, the cool night of Privet Drive. Looking around in confusion he began to get a really bad feeling.
"Lemon drop?" An old voice asked from in front of him as a candy dish suddenly appeared directly before him, hovering outside his window.
"Arrgggg!" Harry yelled as he stumble back, tripping over his desk chair and falling heavily to the floor with a loud thump. Looking up from his position on the floor Harry glared at the space he knew his unwanted guest occupied. Without missing a beat the man lowered his invisibility charms to reveal Albus Dumbledore sitting comfortably on a broom just outside of Harry's window. With his eyes semi closed in a relaxed state he slowly drifted in while bobbing his head, humming to himself and sucking on a lemon drop.
"What the hell are you doing here"? Harry snapped as he picked himself off the floor. This seemed to snap Dumbledore out of his 'lemon drop induced euphoria'. Snapping his eyes open he looked at Harry and regarded him with a critical eye for a few moments before 'hopping' off his broom.
"Ah, you must be Harry. It's a pleasure to meet you." He said extending a hand. Harry for his part was looking at the old man in confusion and with more than a little suspicion. Seeing this, the old man simply chuckled.
"Forgive me, I am Aberforth Christopher Ramsley Allen Dumbledore, Albus is my twin brother." The old man said with a smile. Harry for his part seemed to go into shock and simply stood there for a few minutes before finally finding something to say.
"Oh shit, there's two of them." He muttered to himself as he shook off his shock.
"Yes indeed there are." Aberforth Dumbledore said with a laugh. "But I did not come here to simply introduce myself. I have come to collect you and bring you to Hogwarts for a meeting so start packing."
"If I am only going for a meet than why do I have to pack?" Harry asked with a little reluctance. Sure he wanted to know what was going on but he was not sure he was ready to face even his friends right now much less Professor Dumbledore and Professor Snape who he blamed partly for Sirius' death. The old man who was the spitting image of his headmaster surveyed him with a knowing and understanding eye.
"You will have to face them sooner or later. Or is it later rather than sooner? Either way you will have to face them sometime in the future, it might as well be now." He finished with a sweep of his wand and all of Harry's possessions found their way back into his trunk. "Now, this portkey will take us directly inside of Albus' office, so whenever you are ready." He said as he pulled a red and gold phoenix feather out from the folds of his robe. Grimacing as he thought about how much he detested portkeys Harry held one handle of his trunk and used his free hand to place a finger on the portkey. Feeling the pull behind his navel, he wanted to throw up as everything began to twist and turn and in no time at all his feet slammed into the stone floor inside the headmaster's office.
Holding his balance by grasping on to Aberforth's shoulder, Harry took a look around and recognized a lot of faces. Many of the professors were present such as McGonagall, Snape and little professor Flitwick. Other Order members present were Tonks, Moody, Kingsley Shacklebolt, Remus Lupin, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley and Mundungus Fletcher. There were four others that he did not know. However he did know a few others present. Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Neville and Luna were sitting together, on a couch that ran across the side wall next to Dumbledore's desk, and looking decidedly nervous. There were other students there as well but none that he knew very well.
"Ah, Harry, glad that you could make it. Please have a seat." Professor Dumbledore said with a smile and a sweep of his hand as two more chairs were conjured for the two newest arrivals. Mrs. Weasley, Remus and his friends looked about ready to jump to their feet and rush to Harry but Professor Dumbledore's voice stopped them.
"I am sure some of you would like to spend some time with each other and get reacquainted but I must ask that this wait. We have much to discuss and much to plan. First off while in these meetings we will be on a first name basis, partly due to the fact that my brother Aberforth here is taking up the Defense position for the coming term and addressing us both as Professor Dumbledore might get a bit confusing." He explained with a smile. Hermione, for her part, looked absolutely scandalized that he would suggest such a thing. In her view addressing a superior by anything less than their rightful title just wasn't done.
"Now all of you are a member or at least aware to a certain degree of the Order of the Phoenix. Some of you have parents or siblings who are or once were a part of this organization. In the last war with Voldemort we were able to run primarily a defensive campaign, and we saved a lot of lives and took many prisoners." At this point everyone in the room was looking at the aged headmaster wondering where this conversation was going and many of the adults were wondering why he was speaking of the Order with so many students present.
"However it quickly became clear within the last month that this time around we will accomplish very little with these same tactics. So what I am planning is a complete restructuring of the Order with all of you as its leadership class." As anyone can imagine this caused an immediate uproar from a few of those adults present.
"WHAT? Albus you can not be seriously considering allowing them to join the Order at their age. They're only children for Merlin's sake?" Molly Weasley screamed as Snape began muttering to himself about egotistical Potters.
"I assure you Molly that I am quite serious. These are very dangerous times and they must be ready to face them. In case you haven't noticed my dear, over the last several years these 'children' have spoiled more of Voldemort's plans and captured more Death Eaters than most Aurors three times their age. They may be young in years but what they lack in age they make up for in experience."
"But it's too dangerous!" She pleaded as she knew she had lost the argument. To everyone's surprise it was Harry and not Dumbledore that answered.
"Mrs. Weasley I know you are just trying to protect us but that is not something that you or anyone else can do all the time. To protect ourselves to the best of our abilities we need to know what is going on. Voldemort has been after me since day one and the others simply because they are close to me, we are already involved more than most people in the Order. Shutting us out now will only do harm." He finished looking the only mother he had ever known in the eye. He saw her eyes begin to fill with tears and her bottom lip began to tremble as she rushed forward and wrapped him in a suffocating hug while sobbing into his shoulder.
"I don't want any of you to get hurt!" She gasped out as she stepped back and began wiping her eyes. "Sorry, I was just being stupid." She said as she sat back down. Harry had sat quietly throughout the argument watching his headmaster closely to try and figure out why he suddenly changed his mind about letting him join the Order. His face showed confusion and suspicion until Dumbledore spoke of their experience and he quickly remembered the prophecy. The last few weeks he spent so much time thinking about Sirius that he did not give it a second thought. He was not allowing them to join the Order because of their past adventures or their experience against Voldemort but because they needed to know. They needed to GAIN experience. One look into the old man's eyes told him all he needed to know. He believed Harry needed this, not to kill Voldemort, not to fulfill the prophecy, but to live his life beyond this war. And not for the first time Harry felt a great amount of gratitude for the man.
"Alright back to the topic at hand. Although the Ministry has publicly accepted Voldemort's return, Fudge refuses to take the steps necessary to combat him. He believes that the Ministry, as it is, is capable of defending the magical world. So it will be left up to us to take the fight to Voldemort. Much of what we will be doing will be both highly dangerous and illegal. From my recently re-acquired position as head of the Wizengamont I will be able to smooth over many of our actions as well as lead any investigations in the wrong direction.
Over the next three days each and every one of you will be paired up with another in this room or with another that was unable to make it here tonight. You will be paired according to your strengths and weaknesses. What skills you lack your partner may be proficient and able to easily help you. Each pair will be in charge of different teams that are responsible for certain aspects of our operation such as strategy and intelligence. Three days from now we will have a full Order meeting with every member present. At that time the other members will be divided into their different teams. You students in our group will be trained by the rest of us from now on and it will be your responsibility to train your specific teams. Are there any questions so far?"
"Yes Proff... Err Albus. Is the next meeting going to be here or at Grimmauld Place?" Ginny asked while blushing a bit for calling her headmaster by his given name.
"Our meetings will be here Ginerva." He replied and chuckled at the outraged look she gave him for using her full name. "Grimmauld Place is now being used primarily as a safe house. Although once school begins again we will have to find a more secure meeting place since my office is only so big." Harry went into deep thought about this problem and inner battle with himself about the reactions of the others towards his idea.
"I might have an idea about that?" He said and everyone was looking at him before he even realized he had said that out loud.
"Yeah give me a little while to check it out. Remus, Moody, come with me." Harry said as he stood and walked to the door. Before closing the door behind him he turned back. "Fawkes, you too." Everyone was surprised when Fawkes obediently followed and landed on Harry's shoulder. The two older men looked at each other in confusion for a moment before following after Harry leaving a silent and very confused office behind. The two men caught up with Harry when he was halfway down the corridor with a thoughtful and concerned expression on his face. Both Remus and 'Mad Eye' Moody followed Harry in silence as he made his way down to the second floor.
"Um, Harry, where are we going?" Remus asked as Harry was making his way into the girl's lavatory.
"Just come on." He replied as he slipped in the door. "Looks like Myrtle isn't here at the moment so hurry up."
"Who's Myrtle?" Remus asked in confusion. Harry could only look on in shock and indignation at this question.
"You mean the Marauders of all people never knew of this bathroom's secrets?" This critic brought a slight blush to the old pranksters face.
"Never bothered. Peter got locked in here once in our first year and all he found was an annoying whinny ghost."
"Well that doesn't matter, only a handful of people alive know this secret." Harry said as he turned towards the sinks while the two older men looked on in confusion. /Open up/ He hissed out in parseltongue causing his two companions to jump back in shock as the sink moved aside to reveal an opening large enough to enter.
"What the bloody hell is that?" Remus asked in shock.
"This is the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets. For various reasons Dumbledore and those of us that were involved with it during my second year decided to keep the location of the entrance a secret."
"Are you sure about this Potter? There's no telling want could be lurking down there." Moody said with only a faint trace of nervousness. Without bothering to answer Harry slid into the hole and began to make his decent into the bowels beneath the ancient castle of Hogwarts.
"Ah shit, come on!" Remus snapped as he quickly followed with Moody right behind him.
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