After careful deliberation Hermione decided that she would consider Draco her boyfriend, in her own mind at least. No telling what he would say if she said it out loud. He was unpredictable like that. But it all made sense. They weren't seeing anyone else, saw each other almost everyday, and were sleeping together. So even if he had never taken her hand, looked into her eyes, and asked her to go steady…it didn't change the fact that that was exactly what they were doing. To be honest with herself, it would have been nice to be asked, to have some sort of verbal declaration. But even in her wildest imagination she couldn't picture Draco Malfoy getting all dewy eyed and asking her to be his. He simply took what he wanted.
Which she had to admit was nice.
Hermione took her education very seriously and it turned out that Malfoy was an excellent teacher. It was nice to have her … overzealousness… appreciated. At least in that regard Malfoy was incredibly vocal about how she made him feel. So explicit in fact that even thinking about it now made her blush. He seemed to like it when he made her blush. Sadistic bastard.
Hermione wished she could have had more time to enjoy this new and exciting part of her life. But instead her days were clogged full of complications. Harry was on pins and needles waiting for the other shoe to drop. Three and a half months into school and still no evil Voldemort plot. He'd taken to attempting Legitimy on her and Ron. He said if he could learn how to do it, he could learn how to defend against it. Which was all well and good, but left her with an awful headache. And heartache. Any day now he would master the technique and he would know.
It wasn't that she didn't want him to know. On some level it would feel good to come clean to her friends and family. She wasn't ashamed either. This thing with Draco was no silly fling and wasn't going away any time soon. But this was all so new and unexplored. His feelings still cloaked in mystery. She knew he cared deeply about her, she just wished he'd say so. She could barely sort out her own feelings; she just knew they were powerful and overwhelming. The way she thought about him all the time was overwhelming. She just wasn't ready to talk about it. And if there was anything her friends and family were good at it was talking.
On the other hand she wanted Harry to hear it from her.
He knew there was something going on. Had asked her more than once if she needed to talk about it. Told her he'd be there for her if she needed him. She thought he might even know it was boy trouble. Sometimes Harry could be freakishly intuitive. But he had his own troubles and didn't pester her. She was well aware Ron wasn't there for him like he used to be and tried to fill the gap. But she knew hanging out with her just wasn't the same. She loved the boys, was part of their three. But she had always known that Harry and Ron were close in only a way boys could be. That she would always be just a little outside their group. She could live with that.
She was worried about Ron too. But nagging was getting her nowhere. And she felt a little guilty about insisting on knowing where he spent all those hours away from Gryffindor tower, when she had her own secrets. She would have left it alone, but he wouldn't meet her eyes when she asked. He was losing sleep, falling behind on his schoolwork, and last week he had missed Quidditch practice. Something was wrong, and she couldn't help if he didn't tell her. Somehow she didn't think it was run of the mill teenage problems, or he would have told them.
Maybe he had told Harry.
It just seemed so crass to lay her worries on Harry when he was already so burdened. He too was losing sleep, practicing Hexes, Counter Curses, and Blocking spells. Dueling with him had long ago ceased to be fun. But her Mediwitch spells were on the rise. They could hardly go to Madame Pince every time someone was knocked out. Long gone were the days when Harry went on the Offensive with the Jelly Legs Curse. Now he wasn't satisfied unless someone was unconscious.
She was grateful he didn't ask her to be his Ginny pig for any of the newer nastier curses he had been perfecting. She worried so much when he would slip on his invisibility cloak and sneak under the cover of darkness to the restricted section. The lure of the dark arts was powerful but she was more worried that he would get caught than be swayed. Speculation was rampant these days and Harry had long ago proven he was not above suspicion. Repeated savior of the Wizarding world he might be, but everyone loves a villain. Thus Malfoy's overblown popularity. Or Voldemorts for that matter.
Thinking about Malfoy made her scowl and flip her page with a little too much vigor, causing Harry to give her a look from the corner of his eye. Dumbledore had intervened and asked for Snape to reconsider having Harry in his advanced potions class. The teacher had deferred without argument but to say this years classes had not been pleasant would have been a massive understatement. Harry didn't want her drawing any attention to their table with her unnecessary noisy page turning. She gave him an apologetic half glance and he looked down at his book. Gryffindor had lost so many points this year that they were in last place, and eerily close to going negative. For a year that hadn't included an assassination attempt on Harry, that was unacceptable.
It's just that Malfoy was making her so mad. He wouldn't let up about quitting S.T.O.P. She had thought that he at least understood, and he said that he did. But he still wanted her to quit. He kept saying how dangerous it was. How he just wanted her to take some concern for her safety. She was concerned for her safety. She was concerned for her parents' safety. She was scared for her friends' safety. Ironically enough she was terrified the most about Malfoy's safety. After all his home base was the snakes den itself.
Granted her Hate Mail had spiked to massive proportions, it was now delivered directly to the headmasters office and checked for Hexes before she received it. Also granted, some of the threats she had received sounded pretty serious. But this was a war, and she couldn't stand aside. Besides she could take care of herself. Did he think her completely incapable?
Yes she was just barely 17. But she had faced Voldemort, Snape, the Ministry, and bigoted racists for going on six years now. And if he called her Naïve one more time she was going to slap him silly. She didn't care how pretty his face was. So not only did she have a million and one worries, what little time she did spend with Draco was clouded over with his paranoia. They fought about it almost every day. Not to mention how busy her schedule was. Prefect duties, homework, S.P.E.W, S.T.O.P, wandless magic lessons, Her Transfiguration thesis, training with Harry, Jeet Kune Do,…the list just went on and on. There was no time for sleep; much less to fight with Malfoy.
She shook her head irritably. She didn't need to be so distracted. Advanced potions required her concentration. This class was important. Perhaps she should make a small mistake on her Polyjuice potion. Snape really never did believe that Harry hadn't stolen the Bloomstang skin from his private stores back in second year. A perfect potion would make him suspicious. Of course, she rarely made mistakes and a mishap might make him more suspicious. Except that he probably believed she was too goody two shoes to risk her grade. Heaven knows he wouldn't be lenient. He made every opportunity to shoot her down hurt as much as possible. Insufferable Git. As if she didn't have enough to be worrying about.
She decided against sabotaging her potion. No force on earth would ever make Snape believe anything but the worst about Harry. And as fun as it would be to plant a seed of doubt in the professors' mind, it certainly wasn't worth her grade being diminished. So she began chopping her ingredients carefully, methodically, and quickly.
Hermione started guiltily, almost losing a finger and looked up at Professor Snape. He was leering over her table, hands on hips, a look of utter disdain on his features. As was to be expected.
"Just what do you think you are doing?"
She hesitated a second, trying to figure out what unforgivable mishap he had zeroed in on. Her table was neat and orderly, her ingredients organized, she hadn't been talking or sneezing or breathing too hard. "Chopping up my Fizzleweed professor."
She tried to keep her voice as respectful as possible. But he looked horrified by her response. And angrier if at all possible.
"That isn't a Hogwarts issue blade Miss Granger. Would you care to explain where you got that weapon?"
She looked down at the incriminating piece of hardware in her hand. Long, sharp, with a curved blade and a tapered handle. Really, what on earth could be wrong with using a more serviceable knife? It was hardly any more weapon than any other knife her hands. The man really was quite barmy.
"Well, the Hogwarts blades are heavy and kind of dull. So I transfigured mine to make it easier to handle. I'll put it back when I'm finished professor."
"And I suppose you expect everyone to be impressed with the foolish fancy chopping you are doing. My class doesn't need to be interrupted every five minutes with bleeding students because you don't have the sense to chop properly."
Really, she wasn't in the mood for this today.
"I'm not chopping any different than I do everyday. And I've been using this knife all term. I think after six years of potions, without a single injury, I might be considered halfway capable." She huffed angrily and tagged on a belated "Professor."
That came out much more irritable that she had meant it to. She spared Harry an apologetic look, but he hadn't looked up from his book. She hated this class. The whole of Slytherin was snickering at her openly, and her fellow Gryffindor students were too afraid to even watch her humiliation because they might lose more house points. She deliberately did not look Draco's way. Not because she thought that he was snickering, but because she didn't want to see the carefully blank look on his face. She hated that look. "Besides, if you are so concerned about interruptions to your class, how does that correlate with the constant harassment of Harry and me?"
Her mouth was certainly running off without her brain today. She really needed to get more sleep before a potions class, if she was going to be up to tolerating Professor Snape.
The professor gave her a cold, mirthless smile. Completely at odds with his tight features and jerked his thumb at the door. "See your head of house before your next class Miss Granger."
She huffily climbed to her feet, and began stuffing her things in her bag. Sometimes she really hated Snape. Against her will her eyes drifted to the back of the classroom. Malfoy was sprawled carelessly in his seat while Blaise Zabini chopped and diced their ingredients. He wasn't laughing. But the raised eyebrow he directed at her, and small sardonic curve of his lips was just as bad. Sometimes she really hated Slytherins period.
He'd never realized how slick skin was when it was wet. Perhaps her skin was slipperier than the average because it was so damn soft. He had to grip her harder than he usually would have, to get a firm hold. Dig his fingers in to get a good grip. She didn't seem to mind. Her dripping hair was plastered to his neck, twined with his own. Her pretty face buried in the crook of his neck. Her harsh breaths were in time with the sound of water sloshing over the edge of the tub, peaking with each deliberate thrust of his body up against hers.
He wanted to say her name.
But he knew she wouldn't have that. And he'd be left alone to clean up the mess in the bathroom. If he kept his peace, he would get to lay with her on the floor, run his hands over her exhausted body, and breathe in her scent. Maybe she would tell him her troubles. He knew talking about it helped, even if she wouldn't cry. The crazy thing was that he was one of maybe three people who knew about her dilemma. And one of those people was her mother. Sometimes it scared him that he knew her so very well. He thought it scared her too.
After all, Ronald Weasley and Pansy Parkinson could hardly be considered friends.
No matter how often they shagged. No matter how often she unburdened her soul to him.
No matter that he knew her hopes and dreams and spent every waking moment thinking of her. Every sleeping moment dreaming of her. Even when they were apart he could barely focus on anything else. Her taste was on his tongue; her scent was in his nose. Maybe this wasn't love but it sure outshone whatever jealous longing he had for Hermione.
Maybe it was obsession.
Pansy let out a lower pitched moan, clutched at his back almost painfully. She was close. A blessing, because the feel of her silken skin sliding up against him like this had him close to the edge. He didn't think he could hold out much longer.
He wished he could see her face; she was beautiful when she came apart in his arms. She was beautiful all the time. Then she was clawing at his skin, begging for purchase, rocking almost frantically, and whimpering. There was nothing to do but hold on and feel…Merlin…He hoped she had finished.
He panted for a few moments, gathered his breath before pulling back to look at her. Her eyes were closed, her head laid trustingly on his shoulder as she caught her breath. Her skin was lightly flushed, her hair plastered to the side of her head. He held back a sigh of relief. Ending things prematurely was not only embarrassing, but had a side effect of Pansy storming off in a huff and avoiding him for several days.
Once he could trust his limbs not to betray him he slid his grip to her bottom and heaved her up enough that her long legs wound around his hips before climbing the stairs out of the tub. He spread her out on the fluffy rug in front of the door and followed her down. In her current lethargy she made no complaints and even adjusted her body to fit his more comfortably, slinging one damp thigh over his. There were other times, especially in the beginning she had been outraged at the very thought that he might want to actually spend a few minutes outside of shagging at her side.
Sometimes now she didn't mind. But you could never tell when those times might be.
It was weird how he didn't mind the silence. He could lay here with her for hours just listening to her breathe. He had in fact lain by her side for hours while she slept, unable to close his eyes, not wanting to waste his precious time with her. Today was not destined to be a day for Pansy gazing. Being in the prefects bathroom meant they didn't have uninterrupted hours to lie about. Class would be letting out sooner or later and people would want in.
It wasn't a day for silence either because within minuets of laying down Pansy broke the peace.
"I think Draco might really be serious about this girl he has been seeing." Ron hated talking about Malfoy. But he was her best friend and she was worried about him. Besides he knew if he shot down talk about the ferret she would be up and out of there in a flash. She was very protective of the maggot. "He spends all of his time with her, and hasn't even glanced at another girl in months. I've never seen him so distracted. With everything that is going on right now he doesn't need to have his head full of some bimbo."
He hated the way she almost sounded jealous. She had said they were only friends.
"Have you managed to figure out who she is yet?"
"I don't think she's a student. The way he's been lately it wouldn't surprise me if he followed her around like a lost puppy. No. The little tramp must live in Hogsmeade or something."
He bit his tongue. He really couldn't see Malfoy dating a tramp. Not as snooty as he was. She would have to be just as stuck up and conceited.
"Maybe it's someone he shouldn't be seeing. So he's hiding it."
She frowned thoughtfully. Surely she must see the disturbing parallel. But if she did it went unmentioned.
"I bet you're right. If she were a Witch of Good Standing he'd just propose. His mother's been shoving available young girls down his throat all year. She's just furious with him because he won't even court any of them; much less consider them for marriage. Last summer he spent most of his time dodging dinner parties and business meetings. I would've never believed Draco could be so good at avoiding notice if I hadn't seen it myself. At the time I figured he just wanted to make Narcissa mad…but now…well it would certainly explain why he won't even admit there is a girl."
"Maybe he has a boyfriend." He trailed his fingers over her arm delighting in the satin smoothness of her skin.
"Don't be daft."
His heart swelled painfully at the unexpected fondness in her tone despite her seemingly harsh words. He ruthlessly pushed the warm feeling away. That way led to trouble.
"If you haven't seen her, he hasn't said anything, and there is apparently no plausible evidence…why are you so certain that he's seeing someone serious?" She shifted languidly, sliding her leg between his, and dipping her finger into his bellybutton. Pansy had a thing for his bellybutton. For the life of him he couldn't understand it.
"Well there is definitely someone, because there is always someone. It can't be a student though because girls always brag about shagging him. There's been silence for months. Well not exactly silence, everyone is speculating. But there's something different about this one. Something is different about him. I've never seen him so distracted."
"But he could be distracted by anything…what makes you so certain it's a girl?"
"He smells like her perfume all the time, he doesn't bother to wash it off. Half the student body is blatantly flirting with him and he just smiles indulgently and walks away. He stays out late and comes back rumpled and disheveled. Draco is NEVER disheveled."
"So he's got a girlfriend. Big deal. I don't see why you are so concerned about it."
"It is a big deal. You don't understand what it's like to be rich and powerful like the Malfoy's. Beautiful women have been throwing themselves at his feet since he was old enough to smirk. Matrons thrust their virgin daughters at him. Old maids fan themselves and twitter when he walks by." Spoiled Git! It made his stomach roil uncomfortably just thinking about how everything was handed to that Berk.
"Don't make that face. His ego isn't over inflated. He's in demand and he knows it. Not that a little humility would hurt him any. Girls have never been more of a pleasant diversion for him. If one doesn't do it for him, there are always a dozen more lined up to take her place. I've never seen him dally with one girl longer than a few months. This thing has stretched out since before the summer. Something isn't right about it or he would have told me. It's not the girl that bothers me, it's the secret."
He nodded thoughtfully, thinking of Hermione. Always sneaking around, keeping to herself. She hardly talked to him anymore except to harp about his schoolwork. She even dressed him down last week for missing Quiddich practice. As if she gave two figs about Quiddich. Something was going on with her, something more than that stupid newsletter. And the newsletter itself was going to get her killed. Not that she paid any mind to her safety, despite what happened over the summer. He was hoping his mum could talk some sense into her this weekend.
Pansy's leg slid deliberately and provocatively upwards. She trailed slim fingers around his navel and then slowly up his chest, giving him a mischievous look. Merlin, she was insatiable. She knew he'd need a while to be ready for her, but if he could change the subject off of Malfoy he might even be able to indulge her in another whirl around the sun…she certainly knew how to get him excited.
He opened his mouth to tell her how dead sexy she was when a harsh banging on the door had them both jumping in their skins.
"PANS! Open this door right now. I know you're in there!"
This was what happened when you spoke of the devil.
Not giving her a chance to answer, dress or open the door he continued to bang relentlessly. "I'm counting to five Parkinson and then I'm coming in."
She exchanged a startled glance with him and frowned when he ran his eyes around the bathroom. There was no escape. He could hide, but his dignity wouldn't allow him to hide from Draco Malfoy. He shrugged helplessly and she grimaced clambering off of him and scrambling to find her discarded things.
"Just a minute Draco, I'm not dressed." She called. He climbed more slowly to his feet watching her features. She didn't look as panicked as he had thought she would. They were in fact without a doubt caught. She seemed to be more concerned about finding her knickers than shutting him in with the towels. He snapped the button on his jeans and pulled his sweater over his head. He felt strangely calm too. It would almost be a relief to have this thing out in the open finally. She pulled on her top, not bothering to button it before running over to the door and opening it slightly to peer out into the hall.
Oh. So that was her plan.
Not that it worked, Malfoy was his usual overbearing self, pushing his way inside and slamming the door closed with his foot. He took in the room in a glance, gaze sliding over him as if he were a towel rack. He hated to acknowledge, even to himself that he was impressed with the stalwart and indifferent way that Malfoy reacted to the situation.
There could be no doubt what was going on but he didn't fly off the handle the way Ron had expected him to.
"A Weasel Pans?" Malfoy rolled his eyes expressively before dismissing him completely. "How am I supposed to defend your erratic behavior to the teachers when you can't even be bothered to come to class?"
"It's just Muggle Studies, and everyone knows you have Professor Wentworth in your pocket." Malfoy crossed his arms and sneered down his nose at her. Ron found himself crossing his own arms defensively. If the little rodent thought he could intimidate Pansy with that look he was mistaken. She was known for her composure. Malfoy glanced in his direction, gaze heavy with disdain.
"Well Pans, if they didn't know they will now that you've spilled the beans in front of the Gryffindor Gossip."
She crossed her arms under her breasts as well, he liked to think she was just trying to keep her shirt closed, and straitened her posture. No matter how strait she stood, her 5"2' stature meant that both he and Malfoy towered over her. As if he should talk, Slytherins were the worst gossips in the school.
"Oh, I've spilled the beans! How about airing out my dirty laundry to Hermione Granger?"
"You allowing yourself to get caught red handed and my bailing your sorry ass out of trouble are hardly the same thing."
"I was not caught. If you would have come up with a suitable lie we would have been fine." She huffed. She actually huffed. He had never pictured her as a huffy sort of person.
"Hermione Granger is not some dim Hufflepuff Parkenson. You're crazy if you think I could have told her it was a switching potion. And after that little catfight you started the week before, she knew how unstable you are. Now I told her we could handle the problem and she promised not to go to the teachers so long as it was being handled. How am I supposed to keep her nose out of things when you don't go to class?"
Ron pinched himself discreetly to see if he was actually conscious or if this was some weird drama his brain had produced while dozing in history of magic. For some reason he had expected some big evil showdown when Slytherins quarreled. Dark magic, unmentionable curses, and ominous voices. Somehow run of the mill squabbling that you might find in the Gryffindor common room coming from these two seemed obscene. Also obscene was the blatant way that Malfoy ignored the evident carnal nature of the episode that he had interrupted. Granted that Slytherin was a den of immoral iniquity but even the great and powerful Draco Malfoy had to be horrified at the very concept of inter-house canoodling.
"Just tell her to mind her business! You were never shy about telling her where to stick it before."
"She doesn't scare so easy anymore Pans. You should even be able to see that."
There was something about his features. A smugness that was unexpected. He ought to be scowling; infuriated that Hermione didn't cower at his feet. It was a very Un-Malfoy moment and it was slightly unsettling. Pansy zeroed in on something weird as well because she uncrossed her arms and put her hands on her hips. She tossed her head and her eyes took on a familiar defiance that made him breathe easier. Her voice came out chill as a winter storm. "It's none of her business. Lie to her."
Suddenly Malfoy lost his cool. He went from casually indifferent to psychopath in a heartbeat and lunged at her. She squeaked and jumped back but he was too fast and grabbed her shoulders and shook her roughly. Ron sprang to protect her but she cried out for him to stop and the sound of his first name on her lips stunned him into motionlessness. "She's right Damn it. And Damn you too for making me agree with a Gryffindor!"
He took a shuddering breath, visibly attempting to calm himself. "You need help, and if my help isn't enough…"
"Just stop Draco. I wasn't doing anything. I haven't for days. You have to trust me."
"Because you've been so trustworthy? Apparently you're sneaking around doing all sorts of unsavory things." Malfoy leered at him sideways and he glared back, doing his best impression of the cold indifference that the other boy seemed to be so good at. Whatever the ferret saw in his face seemed to give him pause and he put his attention back on Pansy pushing her away from him a little too roughly.
"Pansy that isn't the whole truth. We both know you've been slipping more often lately."
"I've been clean for three days. Yes I slipped. I'm trying my best Draco." She put a shaky hand to her face and before he realized what he was doing he stepped closer to her, touching her, offering her physical comfort. He was as shocked by his own behavior in front of Malfoy as he was that she didn't push him away. Instead she leaned on him for a heartbeat before standing up straight and raising her chin.
"Before that it was two weeks. I'm getting better. Not that you're around to know. You are too busy running around with your new girlfriend to give a damn about me and my petty problems."
"My fucking girlfriend is none of your business." He snarled and the change in him was shocking. He went from fairly in control to a snarl of rage in a heartbeat. But the weird thing was that his fury didn't seem to be directed at Pansy.
She was right. Something was off with his love life. Not that Ron gave a flying fuck. Or that he had any room to talk. His own love life was a ragged mess.
Pansy obviously thought so too because her mouth fell open and she clasped both her hands over it to still the loud squeal she let out.
"Oh Holy Merlin! You're sleeping with Hermione Granger!"
"Perhaps we should dismiss your plaything and extrapolate on your wild theories in company that won't get me killed."
She let out a shaky laugh that didn't fool anyone and started buttoning her blouse.
"You're right. That's ridiculous." She began to straighten her hair. "We need to be getting out of here, classes will be out."
The tension was diffused as easily as that, and Malfoy smiled at her. Ron pushed down a hot rod of irrational jealousy. That easy friendship with her was something he would never have. Why in the world was he doing this to himself?
Hermione Granger sat anxiously in her seat, her hands clasped so tightly in her lap that the knuckles were white. The seconds ticked by silently, her damn watch hushed until the end of term. She placed her heels more firmly into the floor to keep from jogging her legs up and down. She was prone to fidgeting and wanted to be taken seriously.
Finally Dumbledore looked up from the paper in his hands, laying it gently down on his desk and looking at her kindly.
"You haven't been in the practice of getting my approval for your plans in the past Miss Granger."
"No, but this is hardly a house elf movement professor. Actually I'd like the support of the Order which is why I came to you."
"Your honesty is refreshing. Always has been." He sighed and handed her parchment back to her. "You have this very well planned out; I of course expected no less of our star pupil."
"Now tell me what isn't on paper. Why should the Order invest man-hours into this dangerous proposition? Why should we encourage involvement of the common person in a society that could very well get them killed? And why should I let an inexperienced student who is barely of age to head the whole movement?
Hermione flinched slightly. She hadn't expected him to welcome the idea with open arms but that was a bit harsh.
"There is more than one war being fought right now. The Order of the Phoenix is standing up to Voldemort. We are holding our own in that war. We will defeat him. But there is another war. A war in the hearts of the people. We have to educate the populous. Or there will be another war, another Voldemort. We have to stop the cycle."
"Standing aside and cowering in our homes doesn't make us safe. It only makes us vulnerable. People are trembling in fear, afraid of what they don't understand. Terrified of saying a name. Being fed propaganda from a mad man who is an expert on extrapolating on those fears."
"And the Order of the Phoenix is only a handful of people, operating in secrecy, hounded by the ministry, and really stretched to their capabilities just keeping a step ahead of Voldemort."
"Muggle-borns outnumber purebloods 2 to 1. If we stand together we are a force to be reckoned with. We would be too powerful to ignore and abuse. And Voldemort knows that. That is what he fears. And that is why there is a price on my head. That is why he fears me."
She took a breath. And plunged on, she really should have written something down.
"It's not as if this is an outrageous proposition. It's the next logical step. I'm not asking people to take up their pitchforks and March to war. I'm saying its time to take a side. It's time to quit being victims, sheep. It's time to stand up and say that this isn't right and we are going to do something about it."
"Alright. Let's say that you do manage to organize some supporters of the cause into groups. What then. What's the next step in your plan? Having a list of names on paper doesn't really do anything but put a match to kindling."
"First order of business has to be safety. Voldemort and his people know how dangerous the masses are. That's why they want us suppressed. However, with more people involved we could implement some safety precautions that the Order doesn't have the time or resources for. I was thinking that each group could have a safe house, Unplottable of course. Then we could implement a portkey system to key people there in an emergency. That way if there was an attack or some other aggressive move we don't have housewives and children trying to defend themselves against professional killers."
"Then we need to be raising funds and starting organizations. We need organizations to help victims of this war. Organizations to educate the people. Organizations to lobby at the ministry to change law. Support groups to offer moral support. Honestly, and this might be the most controversial, we need to be training our people in defensive magic at the very least. Voldemort certainly thinks nothing of slapping Avada's on the helpless. Even children. We need to be prepared for that. Closing our eyes to the truth doesn't make the nightmare go away."
"That's a tall order Miss Granger."
"I know it won't happen overnight. But getting organized is the first step. I need the Order's support to help with safety precautions. As you said I'm only a seventeen year old girl. I can't very well go around issuing port keys or setting up safe houses." She steeled herself and looked into his eyes. This was the hard part but it was true. "I'll be doing this with or without your help."
"All right. Send out your pledge forms. Set up your meetings. You will have Order security."