Chapter 25: Of Talks and Disturbing Visions.
This story is now AU. I hope that you all continue to read despite the fact, as I am now attempting to write the rest of this story as quickly as possible so that I can work on a cannon 7th year fic that I have planned and quite a few 'different' fics too, including some 'challenge fics' :D Sorry for the delay in getting this chapter posted! Sam.
'We need to speak to Dumbledore,' Snape announced as he continued to comfort his niece. His once clean black robes now soiled with her tears.
The slightest nod of her head was all that Snape could see, as she remained clutched tightly to his neck and shoulder. He feared that if she remained any longer his arm would go to sleep, and then they would never get off of the accursed sofa.
She pulled back and took a moment to wipe her eyes on her sleeve. 'You want to go now?' she asked already knowing the answer.
Snape nodded. 'Yes. I think it's best we let Dumbledore know as soon as possible so that we can decide how best to answer this letter,' Snape said. He moved to stand and Gabey slipped silently away from him as he did so. She stood and straightened her skirt and robes as best she could before leading the way to the door, Snape following closely behind, the letter from Sumner Snape in hand.
When they had first arrived at the headmaster's office, they had found him uncharacteristically slumped over his desk. Many different parchments littered his desk and as the two drew closer, they noticed that he was asleep.
Snape however, was only mildly surprised, after all it was after two in the morning and anyone with a shred of intelligence would already be tucked up in bed at that time of night. It was with great reluctance that Snape stepped around the desk to shake the aged professor awake, as he seemed to be in need of it.
'Severus?' Dumbledore began as he straightened his half-moon glasses upon his crooked nose. 'And Miss Newton,' Dumbledore nodded his head at Gabey before turning his attention back to Snape. 'May I ask what brings you here so very early in the morning, Severus?'
'You may, we, that is to say, Gabrielle has a received a letter from her father, Sumner,' Snape announced as he took the seat in front of Dumbledore's desk and instructed Gabey to do the same.
'A letter, from your father, Miss Newton?' Dumbledore inquired, 'and what does the letter say?' he asked Gabey, now much more alert than before.
Gabey took the letter from her uncle's hand and read it aloud, stifling the tears that threatened to fall as she read the part about her mother.
'The letter is sealed with blood. It can only be read by a true Snape heir,' Snape informed Dumbledore who was peering at the letter that appeared only blank to his eye.
Dumbledore sighed before removing his glasses to rub his tired eyes. 'I see.' He answered before replacing his glasses. 'Well, we shall have to formulate a response. He wants to meet Miss Newton, and so he shall…' Dumbledore began.
'He most certainly will not!' stormed Snape as he rose from his chair. Gabey stood too, the idea was ludicrous, to allow a known Deatheater access to his daughter only to take her to the Dark Lord to become a fellow Deatheater as well!
Dumbledore raised a placating hand and motioned for the two to sit. 'I do not mean for us to simply allow Gabrielle to meet her father and him take her away to Lord Voldemort, Severus. No, she will be protected, I assure you,' Dumbledore responded.
'What do you propose?' Snape asked reluctantly as he re-took his seat.
'There is a Hogsmeade weekend coming up. It would allow for the perfect opportunity for the meet to take place under supervision of Order members and it would also mark for a perfect excuse for Gabrielle to be outside of Hogwarts,' Dumbledore announced.
Snape thought for a few moments, and in the silence Dumbledore offered Gabrielle a Lemon Drop, to which she gratefully accepted. 'Outside of Hogwarts, he will be able to apparate in and out. It would also be a lot easier for him to appear and then apparate away taking Gabrielle with him,' Snape opined.
Dumbledore nodded. 'Yes it would, but not if we place anti-apparation wards around the meeting place,' Dumbledore replied, the familiar twinkle in his eye that always reminded Snape of a naughty school-boy's wink.
The following morning Harry awoke to Ron's voice, loud and next to his ear. He rolled over and buried his head beneath his pillow in an attempt to block out the intruding noise.
'Harry! Harry wake up! I need to talk to you,' Ron's voice penetrated the soft cushioning of the pillow. Harry sighed and slowly sat up straight. Ron handed him his glasses and he blinked at the face of his best friend.
'Shouldn't you be in the hospital wing still?' Harry asked sleepily.
'Nah, I snuck out when Pomfrey wasn't watching,' Ron replied casually, 'but I need to tell you what I saw last night, what I saw in my vision,' Ron announced anxiously.
Harry yawned. 'Can't this wait 'till morning?'
Ron looked to the side and out the window. The sun had already risen and they were the only ones still in the dorm room. 'It is morning, Harry,' Ron answered slightly amused.
Harry sprang up and almost collapsed to the floor when his feet became tangled in the covers. 'It's morning already! Why didn't you say so? I've got a class to get to, Ron!' Harry stormed as he whizzed into the bathroom to wash.
Ron shook his head at his friend's antics. He'd tell him later that all classes had been postponed until further notice.
Once Harry returned to the room, still in a flurry about being late to Transfiguration class, he noticed that Ron was wearing his weekend clothes, and that he didn't seem the least bit bothered about missing his class. 'Have you got the morning off or something?' Harry asked distractedly as he searched underneath his bed for a missing sock.
'You could say that,' Ron replied coolly. Harry raised his head from his searching to look at him. 'What do you mean?' he asked as he grabbed the sock.
Ron sighed as he ran his hand through his hair. 'There are no classes today, Harry,' he began, effectively receiving his friend's full-attention. ' And there probably won't be tomorrow either.'
Harry moved so that he was sitting opposite Ron on Seamus' bed. 'Why not?' he asked concernedly. 'Has something happened? Is it something to do with Voldem-'
Ron shuddered at the name. 'Malfoy, actually,' Ron replied cryptically. Harry rolled his eyes.
'What's he done now?'
'He's missing, no one knows where he is,' Ron answered, to which Harry quirked an eyebrow in surprise. 'Not only that, but so is Nott, Crabbe, Goyle and Pansy Parkinson,' Ron replied, his brow furrowed.
Harry rolled his eyes. 'So they're what? All off gallivanting together or something? And there's no lessons because they decided not to come back?' Harry asked annoyed that Malfoy and the others who had taunted him throughout his years at Hogwarts were causing such mayhem.
'That's the thing though,' Ron began slowly, ' Last night, in my vision… d'you remember?' Harry nodded, eyes wide as the scene replayed itself before his eyes, 'Yeah I remember, Merlin you scared me last night!' he exclaimed.
Ron smiled. 'Sorry about that, mate. Anyway, in my vision I saw them… Malfoy and the others I mean. I saw them leave Hogwarts and go into the forest. They had their brooms with them but that was it, I mean they didn't have anything else with them,' Ron said.
'Have you told Dumbledore this?' Harry asked as he tried to puzzle the pieces together. Ron shook his head. 'Why not?' Harry asked eyebrow arched.
'Because of what else I saw,' Ron said, 'I saw you, Harry,' Ron locked eyes with Harry as though trying to determine his reaction.
Harry's brow furrowed in confusion. 'What do you mean?'
Ron sighed as he rubbed the back of his neck. 'I saw you… with them. I saw them meet you inside the forbidden forest, Harry. You were expecting them and they were expecting you… it was like you went there purposely to meet them, like it had been arranged.'
Ron chanced a look at Harry's face. 'It didn't happen, Ron. I know it didn't. I've been in here all night. After your vision, I took you to the Hospital Wing and then I came straight back here and went to bed. I didn't arrange to meet Malfoy and I certainly didn't go into the Forbidden Forest last night!' Harry exclaimed.
'I know, I know you didn't. But I definitely saw your face, Harry,' Ron said quietly. 'It may not have really been you, but Malfoy and the others did and they were expecting you.'
'What are you saying?' Harry asked a feeling of dread sinking to the bottom of his stomach.
'I think someone is impersonating you, I don't know how… polyjuice maybe? But someone is out there pretending to be you and doing things that could get you locked up in Azkaban for life,' Ron said seriously.
Harry buried his head in his hands. He felt so confused by Ron's words. 'Why would anyone try to impersonate me?' he thought to himself. 'What are they doing? And how are they doing it?' just some of the questions that filtered through his mind.
He took a deep breath and looked up at his friend's face. There was more, he could tell. He wasn't telling him everything and he knew it.
Standing up to walk over to the window. Harry lent his forehead against the cool glass in an attempt to calm himself down. 'What aren't you telling me, Ron?' Harry asked his gaze fixed on the landscape outside.
Ron swallowed as he too made to stand up. How was he supposed to explain this? 'The vision changed, I didn't see what happened when you met with Malfoy and the others,' he began.
'What happened?' Harry replied in a low tone, his focus still on the mountains.
'There were Vampires… lots of them. They were circling around you. They didn't seem like they wanted to harm you though, which is odd. It was almost as if you were there leader or something,' Ron opined.
Harry remained silent as he stared at his own reflection in the glass.
'You told them to go hunt. A Muggle village called Drewsteignton; I think that's in Devon. Anyway, they were feeding and some even Sired them…' Ron drifted off as he looked up at Harry.
Harry turned to Ron, before walking out the boy's dorm and out of Gryffindor Tower.
Ron sighed before quietly finishing, '…and then they Sired you.'