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b Disclaimer: This is JKR's world, I'm just messing in it. /b

i A/N: After I finished reading Death of a Salesman awhile ago, I was feeling kind of morose and penned an idea for a short little one-off. However, the Admins told me that my story couldn't qualify, so I had to split it up into three chapters. This is Part 1 of 3. Enjoy :) /i

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"Bind Them!" Harry barked, causing a few of the Order members to jump into action. With practiced ease, they waved their wands and each cast the special binding spell on one of the half-dozen Death Eaters, immobilizing them both physically and magically. The Order had been forced to create more effective spells after a dozen or more escapes made by Death Eaters after capture by various means. i Thank God Hermione is on our side... /i Harry thought, as the dark wizards were Portkeyed to a safe location by one of the new Order members.

"Good work, guys. Head back to Headquarters in pairs at the regular intervals. Get some sleep, you deserve it." Smiling, he watched as the recently-promoted Order trainees departed the scene a couple of minutes apart, staggering their arrivals so that tracking the location of Order HQ would be harder, yet another of Ron's brilliant tactical suggestions. Sighing, he stowed his wand as the last of the rookies departed. With a flick of his robes, he disappeared from the scene with a 'pop'.

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"Harry?" a familiar voice called tentatively, coming from the den below. Blinking the sleep awake, he realised he had fallen into a slumber in the bath once again. i Four times this week already? /i he wondered, dragging himself out of the now chilly water and wrapping a thick towel around his body. Dragging his slightly numb feet out of the water, he dried off and slipped on underwear, a pair of jeans and a light shirt. With a once-over in the bathroom mirror, he unlocked the door and stepped out of the bathroom. Descending the stairs, he headed for the slight bustle of pots and pans in the kitchen. A beautiful redhead stood in front of the stove, nibbling a finger cutely as she stirred something in one of the smaller pans.

"Hey, love," he whispered, wrapping his arms around her waist and kissing her hair softly, "What's for dinner?" Turning, Ginny smiled at him and gave him an affectionate peck on the cheek.

"Pasta. I didn't have much time after looking through all the stakeout reports from this afternoon's meeting," she murmured, swatting playfully at him as she said, "and it's going to be all soggy if you don't let me go fish it out." Wrinkling his nose to her sweet laughter, he tracked her across the kitchen where she drained the linguini in the colander. Ginny had been assigned the desk job of being the "spymaster" for the Order for the one year that she had been pregnant; even though she now did as much field work as anyone, she still enjoyed distilling the odd report on occasion. Giving one last stir to the sauce in the pan, Ginny asked Harry to set the table as she assembled their meal.

"So," she said conversationally as they set down to a simple meal of linguini with chicken pesto and bread, "Did Mom report any misbehavior today?" Flame-haired, green-eyed Emily Potter had been born a year after their wedding, in Ginny's seventh year, and was five years old. For now, she spent most of her time in the now-empty Burrow with her grandmother, as Harry and Ginny didn't want her to be more at risk than was absolutely necessary.

"I don't think so, but then again, I fell asleep in the bath when I got home from the raid," he replied, "You don't think this is bad, do you? Leaving her with Molly..." As worried look clouded his face, as memories of his childhood flashed before his eyes. i I wouldn't wish that on anyone... /i As if reading his mind, his wife spoke up.

"We are i not /i abandoning her!" she said forcefully, "We've had this discussion before, this is not like you childhood, Harry. We love her, and she knows it, okay? So stop worrying. Besides, it keeps Mom occupied after..." She didn't need to complete the sentence. Almost everyone in the Order knew that Molly Weasley had not been the same after that fateful day when her husband and her third son had died when the Death Eaters had attacked the Ministry. All of a sudden, they heard a male voice from the living room. Shooting panicked looks at each other, they both drew their wands and rushed into the den. They skidded to a halt.

"Kingsley?" Ginny asked of the flustered-looking head in the fire, "Why didn't you use the secure Message Spell?" Floo-calling had become less popular among the Order because of the ease with which it could be tapped into; new spells had been developed which allowed Order members to communicate, while slightly more slowly, more securely.

"It's an emergency!" Kingsley said, panic and fear in his voice, "I think you'd better come down to the original Headquarters right now..." With that, his head disappeared, just in time, as Harry quickly threw a new handful of Floo powder into the fire. Clutching his wife firmly by his side, he leapt into the emerald flames.

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In the nine and a half years since Voldemort had returned in that fateful graveyard, the war had escalated drastically. While most of the battles were still fought in the shadows and under the cover of darkness, the majority of the Wizarding world affected by it, and thus, many people had joined up to both sides. To counter the growing ranks of Death Eaters in the country, the Order had begun raids, like the one Harry had carried out that day, on Death Eater recruit training camps and had also begun their own large-scale recruiting. With so large a force now behind them, the Order had found the need to partition the forces, each large group having their own headquarters and leader from the original Order. With the prolonging of the war, however, the forces on both sides had been spreading thin despite the new recruits, but still Harry, Kingsley and McGonagall managed to keep the tides from turning too badly, while ensuring that the Order didn't become a mess of bureaucrats and red tape. It was into the first Headquarters of Grimmauld Place that Harry and Ginny stepped into.

"What's wrong Kingsley? What's wrong?" Ginny cried as they saw the sunken face of their mentor and friend. With despair in his eyes, he sat the pair down at one of the couches in the lounge and stood before them. He looked at the young couple, a haunted look in his eyes.

"The Burrow was raided today," he whispered, falling to his knees.

"WHAT?" Harry roared, leaping to his feet. Ginny, hands trembling, stood by him.

"Emily? Molly?" she asked softly, her voice quivering.

"Molly took a few bad curses; she's in St. Mungo's..." Kingsley replied, "They... they took Emily..." At the words, Harry collapsed into a sobbing mass, grief wracking his body as an equally tearful Ginny guided him back to the chair and cradled his head in her arms.

"Where?" she managed to get out, her voice hoarse with anguish. Kingsley's pained look betrayed his own emotions, but told them anyway.

"They took her to the Pennines range near the Yorkshire Dales, the one we think He's hiding in..." at Ginny's nod Kingsley decided to risk it, "We will assemble a-..."

"NO!" Harry sat up suddenly, "There isn't time... Ginny and I will go and rescue our daughter. It'll take too long to scramble the others... You can't stop me, Kingsley." His voice was even as the couple stood up, to leave. Against all expectation, Kingsley stepped out of their way.

"I know, Harry... and I won't try to," his face suddenly grew stern, "I would do the same in your position, but all I can do now is send the others after you. Godspeed to you." With a nod, the couple made their way out of the room.

A few seconds later, they were gone.

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i A/N: Part Two is coming out tomorrow or the day after. P.S. Read my Christmas Engagement (6-2006) entry, i Something's Wrong This Christmas /i , hehe. Thanks for reading, now review :) /i

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Copyright Geoffrey Lim 2006