Disclaimer: I'm borrowing the HP characters for a little while. Don't worry, on July 16th they'll return to their own world. Enjoi!
With war and sorrow surrounding Harry, he truly enjoyed and was grateful, for the first time in his memory, to hear a group of friends singing him 'Happy Birthday'. With the Weasley's and Luna's sorrow and grief so fresh, they still took time to wish him a happy birthday. He didn't care about not receiving any gifts. He didn't care that a cake wasn't able to be procured. The simple fact that in the middle of darkness light was still able to shine.
"Wormtail, what news do you have of Hogwarts?" Voldemort hissed to his servant.
"Ma – Master, the defenses are strong, but can be broken…"
"You wish to say more?"
"M – Master, the werewolf Lupin…it may be possible to turn him…"
"Fool," Voldemort muttered, "you may be easily persuaded. But I am not Wormtail. Perhaps you need to be convinced to not be so easily manipulated." Voldemort raised his wand, but before he could cast the curse Wormtail spoke.
"He is the one that released me!" Wormtail's voice was desperate. He knew he'd be punished for being caught, but he'd be punished longer if he appeared to be weak minded.
"You were caught?" the question sounded innocent, but the threat was not unnoticed.
"Yes master, I was ambushed by someone from above me. I had almost killed the werewolf when I was attacked," the balding man whimpered.
"Is that where your hand went? A trophy for some muggle loving sneak? You do disappoint me, but your information is useful. You may rise."
"Th – Thank you master…"
"Oh, and Wormtail, why would the wolf free you after you tried to kill him?" the Dark Lord asked, something like amusement in his slit, red eyes.
"We – AGHH…" Wormtail screamed being struck by the cruciatus curse before even gathering his thoughts. The other Death Eaters shifted nervously watching one of their own suffering so much.
"Professor, the Death Eaters that attacked my house, they sounded familiar. I think, I think they were students, sir." Neville said, still nervous and apprehensive over talking to the headmaster.
"What gives you this impression Mr. Longbottom?"
"Well sir, they weren't much taller than me, and I think I might have recognized one of their voices…"
"And who is it that you think you heard?" Dumbledore asked gently.
"Malfoy sir, Draco Malfoy," the boy said in a whisper.
"Hmm," Dumbledore sat back in his chair, his fingers steepled under his chin. "Did it seem like they were taking orders?"
"Yes sir, from Malfoy."
"Mr. Longbottom, do me a favor and when you see Mr. Potter, please ask him to come and see me."
"Ok, I will," Neville rose to leave acknowledging the conversation was over. As he reached for the doorknob Dumbledore spoke again.
"Oh, and Neville, excellent work fighting them off," the headmaster said encouragingly. Neville nodded turning slightly pink and then walked out of the office.
"SHIT!" his voice echoed off the stone walls of the dungeon he called home. Severus was currently in the middle of brewing a potion, a potion that was going to ruin if he didn't start stirring anticlockwise. The pain in his left forearm was distracting to say the least. He rolled up his sleeve only to see the familiar magical tattoo of a snake protruding from a skull pulsating blacker and blacker. It felt like every etched detail of the vile mark was on fire. It burned and burned causing Severus to grit his teeth in pain. Sweat formed on his forehead, and his vision was blurring. In the distant recesses of his mind he could hear screaming. His eyes watering, his head pounding, Severus staggered to the cauldron on the fire. Once there he weakly grasped the bronze spoon sticking on of the concoction. Concentrating with everything he had, he started to stir.
The party had ceased hours ago, but Harry was still soaring with the feeling that this had been his best birthday. Ron and Hermione had disappeared somewhere. Neville was talking to the headmaster about the attack on his home. Luna was seated at a table to his left reading something. Ever so often the strange girl could be heard humming something that sounded strangely familiar. And Ginny, Ginny was seated beside him. They had been talking for a while, and her hand had snaked its way into his. At first Harry had stiffened slightly at first, but now he was relaxing into the comforting gesture. Their conversation was light, she was making him laugh. At the end of one of her stories about the twins Harry was laughing so hard tears were forming in the corners of his eyes. He swiped them away and when he opened them he saw that Ginny too was wiping at her eyes.
She then opened her eyes. Soft brown met intense green. Both teens stopped laughing. Their smiles fading from their faces as the unintentional staring contest began. Harry felt a tug at the bottom of his stomach. He swallowed nervously as he remembered the last time this feeling had crept upon him, when he first kissed Cho, but this wasn't like that. This was Ginny. This was Ron's little sister. This…felt right.
Ginny was leaning slightly closer to Harry. Closer and closer, every inch she closed in on him, the less breath Harry seemed to possess. Harry noticed he could count each freckle on the tops of her cheeks. The details of the colors of her red hair glinting in the torchlight suddenly came in to view. Their noses almost touching; they both closed their eyes at the same time. Harry's brain was on autopilot; he was doing only what felt natural. He was going to kiss Ginny. He was going to have his first kiss where the only tears were tears of laughter and happiness.
Their noses hit. Harry wanted to laugh be suppressed the urge. Instead, he let his head drift a little to the left. Their lips could only be an inch apart now. His stomach felt full of butterflies that couldn't be settled. His mind was blissfully blank. His heart felt like it was in his throat, but not in that constricting sort of way. He was filled with a sensation that he never wanted to let go off.
They didn't hear the portrait swing open. But they did hear, "Harry, Dumbledore wants to see you. I think--" but Neville's voice died away. His cheeks shaded pink he said, "Sorry."
Harry sighed at the lost moment. All sensation and mindset returned to normal. His anxiousness returned to the wariness of war. His butterflies all died. Ginny grunted in disappointment.
"S'alright Neville. Do you know why he wants to see me?"
"I think it's about the attacks."
Harry nodded. With an apologetic glance to Ginny he rose to his feet and left the common room.
Lupin was staring into the mirror in his room. Madam Pomfrey had done what she could, and she said that they would fade over time. He ran a finger over the outline of the burned skin in the shape of his once time friend's fingers. He traced the outline. Staring into the mirror, concentrating on the burned flesh, Lupin sighed. The last of the Marauders trying to kill each other, where had all this gone so wrong? With the reminder of his lost friends Lupin's eyes clouded over. For some strange reason a memory of the past floated to the front of his thoughts. A picture was being taken of the original Order of the Phoenix. Lupin took his spot while people started to form up around and behind him. Lily, James, Sirius, and Peter were walking towards him. Sirius gave the werewolf a glance, a glance where the eyes betrayed the emotion behind them. The only problem was that Lupin couldn't name the emotion. Sirius leaned into James and started to whisper into his ear. James' smile faded as he listened to his best friend. Lily gave the werewolf a small wave, and then was being redirected to the right of her original path. Peter turned too when he realized their destination had changed. They were now heading to the back right of the crowd. The exact opposite of where Remus Lupin was standing.
He wanted to cry. He wanted to curse and spit and hex Sirius Black. Lupin believed that the one time friend was offering information to Voldemort and his Death Eaters. Who wouldn't? Just look at his family. Each was darker than the last. Even worse, it seemed that Sirius had James' ear, James had Lily's, and Peter would follow those three to the ends of the earth. Lupin wanted to say something to James, to Lily, to Dumbledore, but he needed proof. He needed proof that he just couldn't seem to find.
"You wanted to see me sir?" Harry asked from the doorway.
"Yes, please come in Harry. There are a couple of issues I'd like to discuss with you. Please sit down."
Harry did, but politely refused tea.
"Lemon drop?" Dumbledore asked offering a tray.
"No tha--, sure," Harry said taking one of the yellow candies. He popped it into his mouth and started sucking on the hard sweet. His spirits seemed to lift as the flavor started to take affect.
"I wanted to discuss the Death Eater attacks that occurred over the past few days with you."
"Like the ones on Neville and Luna?" Harry asked, the candy obstructing his speech slightly.
"Yes Harry, but before I tell you my suspicions, I would like confirmation from you that you will accept that the actions of others is just that. And that you will not blame yourself for things you had no control over."
Harry nodded, a knot of dread tightening in his stomach.
Dumbledore gaze Harry one of his patented piercing looks. After a moment he nodded, mostly to himself, and then began debriefing Harry.
"The reports are all coming in still, but so far it looks like these attacks were focused on the DA that was started last year. It also seems that it was students who were leading the attacks. I fear this war has managed to find its way into the younger generation," Dumbledore finished looking more tired than he had ever before.
Harry sighed and then nodded his head with his eyes closed in frustration. He had an idea of who would target the DA, and it was the person who would know who was in the DA. Malfoy had seen some members, some…but not all.
"Sir, do you know who all was attacked?"
"Not yet, why Harry?" the headmaster asked.
"Because no one knew who all was in the DA. Someone in the group has to be helping naming names," Harry finished. The truth was horrifying, it was ugly and brutal, but this was all he could come up with. It was the only thing that made sense. Someone had to be out there with the word 'SNEAK' plastered on their forehead.
A/N: I don't have a clue where this is going...other than an attack and a battle. I really should have plotted this out beforehand. Anyway, on to the reviews!
Rasberry Jo: Thanks, I'll take odd and dramatic any way I can get it ) . And twisted seems like a compliment to me. As for Ginny and Harry, expect more moments between the two, other than that, I don't have any concrete plans for them.
Zozia: Maybe Ron is doing a little of both, but mainly he approves of Harry/Ginny. And funny enough, the tip off my left ring finger hurts, so typing this chapter was rather annoying. And I'll keep writing as long as you all keep reading.
Luna Lovegood2: I'm glad you liked my Luna. I've found it hard to write her, but fun at the same time. She'll be getting more page time soon I think. Thanks.
Wytil: The twins were relatively safe and sound in Diagon Alley. And while I didn't mention it, they were even safe during the Diagon Alley attack. Quick question, ragged as in how? I know it jumps a lot, or is it something else?
Sodapop: Thanks for the review and I'm glad you liked it.
ApocSM: Gracias, I am thrilled that you like it ) . Updates are sporadic at best, but I'll try and keep them coming.
fanastygirl721: I'm glad you still like it. And your spelling of awesome looks how one of my friends says it. Yes, he has some new abilities, they will most likely first show up whenever his first fight comes. As for updates, you should know better by now, no guarantees on when they come. As for your ideas, I'd love to hear them.