A/N: This is the last full chapter I have written. I have about 10-12 pages written elsewhere but not in chapter form, just random snippets that need to be put together. I don't know how long that will take me, but I'll do my best!
Harry Potter and the Order Rising
Chapter Eight: An Unexpected Victim
Harry landed facedown on the floor of the drawing room. Draco helped him to his feet. Harry turned his face away, trying not to show the conflicting emotions that were running through him. He did not want Draco to be able to discern anything from his expression. He watched Ginny sleeping across the room for a moment; her deep, even breathing soothed him.
A hand on his shoulder told him Draco was still behind him. Turning to face him, Harry composed his features as best he could. Draco searched his expression for a moment, one eyebrow raised.
"You all right, Potter?" He asked, his voice somewhat gruff. Harry wondered if Draco would have been able to look into the Pensieve from above and see any of it. After all, the first time he had used a Pensieve, he had been able to see the location of the memory before accidentally propelling himself into it.
"I'm fine," Harry lied. Draco shook his head.
"Whatever you say." Harry glared at him.
"I said I'm fine, okay?" He snapped. "What did you see?" He demanded. Draco held up his hands.
"Nothing, Potter. Calm down." He reached down and picked up his wand, using it to put the memory back in the bottle. He handed it to Harry, who said, "You really couldn't see anything?"
"Nothing, I swear. That Pensieve is different than most others; you can't view anything from the outside if someone else is in there." Not completely convinced, Harry slipped the bottle back into his pocket.
"How did I get in there without you?" He wanted to know. Draco shrugged.
"Because I let you. Hermione could probably explain it better, but basically the Pensieve was in my hands, and I allowed you to go in."
"It can read your thoughts?" Harry asked incredulously. Draco laughed softly.
"No, more like emotions, I suppose. I wasn't trying to wrestle the Pensieve away from you, so it was pretty clear that you were entering with my consent." Harry was not sure he understood exactly how that was supposed to work, but he nodded anyway.
"We should probably get some sleep," he said, turning to the camp bed that was set up for him. Draco went to his and crawled under the covers.
"You know," he said just before Harry drifted off to sleep. "I've never slept on a camp bed before. They're actually quite comfy."
Harry awoke the next morning to a delicious smell and raised voices. Lifting his head, he saw that it was not quite mid-morning but awhile after dawn. Hermione was sitting up on the couch-bed with her eyebrows raised, knitting something unrecognizable. Ginny and Luna were gone. Ron and Neville were still snoring. Draco was lying down, but his eyes were open. Judging by his annoyed expression, he, too had just been awoken by the voices coming from the kitchen.
Dragging himself to his feet, he wondered for a moment why he felt as though he had been run over by a train. Thinking back to the night before, he quite remembered silently crying himself to sleep. He felt like a baby, but didn't care. He could not even begin to discern what he had seen in the Pensieve, and he was not sure he wanted to.
He slipped down the stairs to the kitchen, Draco lumbering along behind him. Pushing the door open, he peeked inside.
"Molly, really-" Luna's dad was standing between Mrs. Weasley and Maria, whose normally kind face was looking hurt and angry.
"Sam, perhaps we should stay out of this," Mr. Weasley said softly.
"Mrs. Weasley," Maria was saying over the both of them. Mrs. Weasley held up her hand.
"Please, call me Molly," she interjected, though her gritted teeth somewhat ruined the gesture. This irony was not lost on Maria, who rolled her eyes and continued as though she had not been interrupted, "thank you, but I really am perfectly capable of cooking breakfast for everyone. I've been doing it for a couple of weeks now. I appreciate the offer," she said, her eyes flashing dangerously, "but I'm actually finished now and don't require any assistance."
Mrs. Weasley nodded curtly and turned to sit at the table. Maria closed her eyes for a moment, seeming to gain composure, and turned to the stove, where she began dolling the sausages onto plates.
Not wanting to make things worse, Harry tiptoed back out of the kitchen, herding Draco along with him. As they went quietly back up the stairs, they heard footsteps coming back down. At the main landing, they ran into Ginny, and Luna, who were slightly red-faced and out of breath.
"What were you doing up there?" Harry demanded, and they exchanged guilty glances.
"Well," Ginny began, "Luna and I were thinking about needing to find Voldemort, you know? And, well, a Death Eater used to live in this house. So we sort-of searched his room for clues." Draco's eyes widened.
"Did you find anything?" He demanded. Luna shook her head.
"No," she replied sadly. Ginny was watching Draco with narrowed eyes.
"You know, perhaps we could continue to search, though," she said slowly. "The house, I mean. I am sure we could find something to help us discover where Voldemort is hiding." Draco opened his mouth to reply, but before he could, something silver came through the door, scaring Harry out of his wits.
"Harry, this is urgent. One of the Order members has been taken by Voldemort. I'm on my way to Headquarters right now."
Lupin's voice echoed in his head. Stunned, Harry leaned against the wall. Who could have been taken? And why?
Suddenly, he remembered his dream. Voldemort had been plotting to get at someone, he thought Ginny. But they had never said a name, and Ginny was not the only girlfriend he had ever had.
"They've got Cho," Harry whispered.
"What are you talking about?" Hermione demanded, coming up the stairs from the kitchen.
"My dream," Harry said, "they were after Cho, not Ginny! Whoever that Death Eater was, he must have left before our sixth year."
"Right after you and Cho broke up," Ginny finished, an odd expression on her face. Harry shook his head.
"We didn't even think of Cho," Hermione whispered in a frightened voice. "We just assumed it was Ginny, because she's so close to you now." Harry put his head in his hands.
"I just hope she's all right. Lupin's on his way over." He rubbed his face. "This is all my-"
"No it's not!" Ginny snapped, and everyone stared at her in surprise. "This is not your fault, Harry. She joined the Order all on her own, you didn't force her to. And you didn't force her to like you two years ago. This is not your fault." Harry looked up at her, astonished. She reached out and touched his arm.
"Thanks, Ginny," he said quietly. She smiled slightly.
It was late into the evening when the sound of someone knocking came through the drawing room door. Ron peeked out of the window.
"It's Lupin," he said. Harry raced to the door, but Hermione beat him there and stopped him. Turning to the door, she called out, "Who's there?"
"It's Moony!" He called back. She pursed her lips.
"If it's really Moony, what does Harry's boggart turn into?" Harry gave her the thumbs up. Anyone but Remus would assume Voldemort.
"A dementor, Hermione. And I believe yours was Professor McGonagall-" Hermione wrenched the door open, blushing slightly. Remus hurried in and shut the door behind him, bolting it.
"I was very stressed out that year," Hermione protested. Remus smiled.
"I was only teasing, Hermione. I wanted you to be sure it was me." She nodded. Remus turned to Harry.
"I can't stay long," he said. "I've got to get to the Ministry and help Andromeda cover this one up." Harry's fears were confirmed.
"It was Cho, wasn't it?" He asked. Remus nodded. Harry quickly told him about the dream.
"We assumed they meant Ginny, and so we just kept an extra close eye on her and moved Mr. and Mrs. Weasley here. I never even thought that they might mean Cho." Remus sighed.
"We're close, Harry. We think we may have almost found him. When we do, we'll get Cho back. Until then, I want you to remain here in Grimmauld Place. As soon as we find him, we'll contact you." Harry stared at him.
"You're joking. I am not going to stay behind in a safe house while you all risk your lives hunting down Voldemort!" Remus put a hand on his shoulder.
"Harry, we need you for when we find Voldemort. We can't afford for something to happen to you while out there looking." Harry folded his arms, stubbornly determined to fight this one.
"Nothing is going to happen to me," he protested.
"But something already did," Hermione argued. "No, Harry, I think he's right. If we want to have any hope of defeating Voldemort, we have to keep you alive and healthy until then." Harry rolled his eyes, but before he could protest more, Remus stopped him.
"I won't say any more on it. We've almost got him. It shouldn't be but another couple of days." Hermione tugged on Harry's arm.
"Come on, Harry. Just, please, let them do this, for once? You can't do it all." Harry sighed and looked away.
"All right, fine. But I want to know the second you find him." Remus nodded.
"You will, Harry, I promise. I need to go now, Morgum is waiting for me. He thinks he may have some more new recruits."
"Be careful, Moony," Harry replied. Remus unbolted the door and disappeared into the night. Harry turned to Hermione.
"I don't like this. Something doesn't feel right." Hermione shrugged.
"There's not much else we can do," she said in a slightly defeated voice. Harry glared at her.
"There's always something we can do. And I hate being kept here and not being allowed to do it." He hadn't meant to get angry, and was a bit surprised at his own outburst. Hermione, who was long used to his temper, simply shook her head.
"You've already done a large part, Harry, and you're going to do an ever larger part soon. Let Moony do his part." Her voice was still calm and collected, like Lupin's would have been, and this soothed Harry somewhat.
"I'm sorry, Hermione. I didn't mean to snap." She smiled and patted his arm, then led him back to the drawing room.
"I know. Come on, let's get some sleep."
They spent another week there in Grimmauld Place. Harry was getting restless, but neither Remus nor any of his friends would allow him to leave the house. Remus gave them regular updates, but they seemed to be making little progress.
"I don't get it!" Harry exclaimed after the eighth day. "Why would he kidnap Cho to lure me to him if he is going to hide himself from me? It just doesn't make any sense!"
"Maybe he thinks you already know where he is," Luna suggested. Hermione shook her head, giving Draco another sidelong glance that Harry could no longer ignore.
"No, Voldemort knows Harry. If Harry knew where Voldemort was and that he had Cho, Harry would be there to rescue her in a heartbeat." There was a pause, in which Harry and Ginny both glared at Hermione, who sighed. "Well, it's the truth, Harry," she said.
"Well thank you for making me sound like a reckless idiot," Harry snapped. His anger rose to the surface again. "It's good to know that my friends have faith in my reasoning." He turned away angrily and peered out of the window. He heard shuffling behind him, and Draco finally spoke.
"Umm, who's hungry?" He asked aloud. A chorus of positive murmurs answered him, and footsteps signaled that they were leaving the room. A hand touched his arm.
"I'm not hungry," he bit out. The hand tightened around his arm and pulled him gently around. Hermione was standing next to him; the rest of the room was empty.
"Look, I didn't mean anything bad by it," she said softly. "But I do think it's odd that he would try to lure you and then make it impossible for you to find him." Harry rolled his eyes.
"I deduced that quite awhile ago," he said sarcastically. Suddenly, Hermione pushed him so that he fell onto the sofa.
"Out with it, Harry," she demanded. "What is your problem with me lately?" Harry glared at her.
"I don't have a problem with you. I'm just a bit stressed out, all right?" She crossed her arms.
"I'm not buying it. You're not snapping at anyone but me." Harry let out an angry huff.
"If you're going to keep things from me, why should I tell you the whole truth?" His anger had reached a boiling point. He was tired of this house, tired of pretending that he didn't notice Hermione and Draco whispering all the time, tired of wondering what that look had been about that they had shared in Dumbledore's memory.
"Harry, what are you talking about?" She asked, looking bewildered. Before Harry could answer, something burned his wrist.
"Ouch!" Looking down, he realized the coin was glowing. Grabbing it from the string, he held it up and read it.
Hogwarts is under attack. Please help! -Michael
Harry froze. Death Eaters were attacking Hogwarts, and he had been told to stay out of it. Well, that was not going to happen this time.
"What is it?" Hermione asked quietly.
"Hogwarts is under attack," he replied shortly. He stood up. "We have to go help." To his surprise, Hermione did not protest.
"I'll get the others. You contact Moony and the rest of the Order." She disappeared through the door. Harry immediately conjured a patronus and gave it the message, sending it on to Lupin. Just as he had finished, the others came tumbling into the room.
"Harry, what are we going to do?" Ron asked.
"We're going to go help them," Harry said in a voice so determined that no one dared argue.
"Let's go, then," Ginny said.
As they exited the drawing room, Maria came down the stairs.
"Harry, wait," she said quietly, grabbing his arm and gently pulling him into a small alcove. She quickly slipped a chain over his head. Hanging from it was the Ring of Gryffindor.
"Maria, what?" She shook her head.
"Just trust me. You'll know when to use it." Harry stared at her, but Ron was already running back down the stairs with his parents at his heels.
"Let's go, Harry," Draco said, his hand on the doorknob. Harry looked at Maria, who backed away to stand next to Sam. He had elected to stay behind with her.
"I-" Hermione's hand closed on Harry's arm.
"Let's go!" She said more urgently. Maria smiled softly.
"Go, Harry," she whispered. "Good luck." Harry succumbed to Hermione's insistent tugs, tucking the ring and chain down the neck of his shirt. He hoped Maria was right.