The New Order
The next few weeks flew by; when Harry wasn't reading one of the books, he was finishing the rooms. Every single room was now basically apartments for everyone needed sanctuary from the war. Needless to say in those few weeks, many people entered Grimmauld Place, having either lost someone or both their parents. Harry remained packed just in case he had to leave in a second's notice. He wasn't sure just how long Dumbledore would make him 'remain' at the Dursleys'. He had no idea who was going for him or whether his cover would be blown.
If it came to it, he would just tell Dumbledore he had left the house and stayed in a Muggle hotel, or anything other than the truth. Dumbledore could never find out he had been in Grimmauld Place. He couldn't find out that he had learned things that the old fool didn't approve off. Goodness knows what Dumbledore might do if he knew; Azkaban came to mind. Dumbledore he knew wasn't as light as everyone assumed, he would do what he had to, to see Voldemort gone for good. Including killing, maiming, kidnapping, and goodness knows what else. He wasn't sure if he had actually done any of those things but Harry knew he couldn't afford to put anything passed the old man.
"Did you manage to go to the Ministry and see about a Wizarding Traditions class? I'd make it mandatory from years one to four, at least," Harry said thoughtfully one evening, eating dinner in Grimmauld Place's dining room. Narcissa, Ted, Dora, Andy, Severus, and Draco were sitting around the table too.
"Compulsory classes aren't looked well upon," Severus said.
"And? Pureblood's get on our back for not knowing everything…but compulsory they don't like? Tell me something, Severus, tell me of something they do like other than Voldemort, and I'll happily retract my previous statement of making them mandatory."
Severus just smirked in amusement. "I do not take wagers I know I will lose,"
"The Muggle studies class is useless," Draco snorted in distain.
"Why? All the Muggle stuff alien to you?" Harry laughed; he hadn't been required to take Muggle studies, as he had grown up in that world.
"Have you seen what you have to wear to blend in, in the Muggle world!" Draco asked looking disgusted. "I refuse to wear such clothes! Those collars just make you look like a dog!"
Harry stared blankly at Draco before he burst into laughter, clutching his belly as what Draco said fully sank in. Ted looked just as amused as Harry was by Draco's declaration. Severus shook his head in silent exasperation at his godson; of all the silly things Draco had said, this topped them all. Draco turned red in anger at the fact he was being laughed at, unfortunately the purebloods weren't any more understanding of the situation and didn't understand Harry's merriment either.
"Draco…I'm wearing Muggle clothes, this is how they dress… Sev is wearing Muggle clothes…that's how they dress," Harry explained, his breath heaving as he got himself under control.
"But the books we got didn't show them like that!" Draco protested …not that he had ever read any of them, he'd just taken one look at the book and set fire to it.
"What book is he talking about?" asked Harry, Ron had taken that class but he never spoke about it much. In fact, they didn't talk about many classes, just defence and what idiot had been hired at the time.
"I assume he's speaking about the Shakespeare books that Charity Burbage likes," Severus smirked in amusement.
"She teaches them Shakespeare?" Harry gaped, his eyes wide as saucers.
"Yes," Severus said.
"Anything else?" Harry asked hopefully.
"I do not know; I did not have to take that particular class, and none of my Slytherins elect to take it either," Severus said, arching an eyebrow.
"Is she pureblood?" Harry asked curiously.
"Indeed, however, she is very outspoken about Wizards needing to breed with Muggles and Muggle-borns to strengthen their magic," Severus explained.
"Outspoken? I'm surprised she hasn't had a visit from Voldemort," Harry cried in shock.
"If she keeps it up, she will do," Severus wryly said.
"So let me get this straight: Muggle-borns learn nothing of Wizarding studies, and purebloods learn sweet fuck all at Muggle studies, apart from about a man that's been dead for centuries?" Harry asked, shaking his head in distain.
"That's about right," Severus sighed.
"Bloody hell, has Hogwarts always been this useless? I mean, I've never had a decent defence teacher…other than Remus, I suppose. Hell, the rest of them have either tried to kill me or torture me," Harry cried in exasperation.
"It wasn't always that way; Dumbledore has lowered the standards Hogwarts prided itself on. Ironically enough, they believe Hogwarts is so popular because of Dumbledore. Not due to the increase of Muggle-borns accepting their place at Hogwarts," Narcissa said dryly.
"Why would your teachers try and kill you?" Ted Tonks asked.
"Why not? Let's see: Quirrell, who ended up possessed by Voldemort; Heh, and Lockhart, who wanted to Obliviate me of my memories so he could write a new book. Um, Crouch, in the guise of Moody because I survived Voldemort's rebirth; and a Ministry toad, who by the way fancied herself above the rules. If Hermione hadn't interrupted her, she would have cast the Cruciatus curse on me. After torturing me all year with a blood quill, making me write 'I must not tell lies' in my own blood." Harry's lip curled in disgust just speaking about them.
"She did what?" Severus asked, his black eyes glittering dangerously.
"Didn't your Slytherins tell you? I know at least one suffered by her hand," Harry asked in surprise. He knew the Slytherins respected Severus, and came to him with their problems. Unlike the other heads of houses, Snape listened to his students, or so Draco insisted.
"Who?" Severus asked, his voice trailing off, indicating Severus had a very good idea who it was.
"I don't know, but Draco should," Harry said, staring at the blonde.
Draco paled when he realized once again, he was in a pickle, and he had reassured Severus that none of the Slytherins were being hurt. Greengrass had gone to Severus and tried to tell him, but Severus had been too busy to listen right then. He had asked Draco a day later, when he saw him, if any of the Slytherins were in trouble. Draco had then told him that he was looking after them all.
Harry gasped when it suddenly dawned on him, he could sense it, Draco was in trouble. Harry knew the Slytherins were like Severus' children, no matter the choices they made. He tried to save as many as he could without being obvious about it, something he was going to do even better when he got back.
"Greengrass was in detention with Umbridge," Draco eventually whispered. The adults in the room were all frowning in confusion at Draco's meek voice.
Severus' face went extremely tense; he looked ready to throttle Draco. Severus breathed sharply through his nose, trying to calm himself down before he did something he wouldn't regret. "You gave me your word none of them were being hurt by that woman," Severus hissed furiously.
"Does that mean you knew about the quill?" Harry asked curiously. Was Severus really not any better than McGonagall?
"I did not, but a unusually large number of students feared having detention with her; I knew something wasn't right. Especially considering I heard them saying they'd rather have detention with me," Severus growled furiously.
"But Greengrass…" Harry asked.
"Came to me, but I was too busy to listen; I told her to go to her prefect, a mistake I will not make again," Severus sneered giving Draco a look filled with loathing.
Draco swallowed sharply; well, he could say goodbye to his badge, anyway, that was for sure.
"Just like McGonagall," Harry sighed; it was always the students that paid the price because of teachers.
"Excuse me?" Severus snapped, feeling very, very insulted.
"I tried to tell her what Umbridge was doing; she didn't even give me a chance to explain. She told me to keep my head down and not aggravate her," Harry snorted bitterly.
"You? Her Golden boy?" Draco asked in surprise.
"Do not call me that," Harry grimaced in disgust.
"Do you know who's defence teacher this year?" Narcissa asked, a look of worry in her eyes for her son. Just what kind of school had Hogwarts turned into? Would she have been better off sending her son to Durmstrang, giving in to Lucius' demands?
"I do not," Severus admitted, Dumbledore liked to surprise him by seeing who could be even worse than the last year.
"Has Hogwarts always been this dangerous?" Ted asked, looking at his daughter.
"No, dad, not always," Tonks said softly.
"None of us had any problem…or heck hem any…adventures quite like our young Mr. Potter," Narcissa told him.
"Lucky me," Harry said in a false happy tone.
"Can I ask you something Harry? Why did you stay?" Ted asked once Harry had nodded.
"It was better than the alternative, at least I could fight back here," Harry eventually said.
"But you couldn't with Umbridge!" Ted pointed out.
"He makes a good point," Tonks agreed, looking remarkably like her father today.
"I'm used to it; what she did to me was nothing I'm not used to." Harry shrugged uncomfortably.
"You shouldn't be, Harry, that's what makes this so terrible. Many families offered to take you in when your family… died. Alice Longbottom was one; she was as close to your mother as one could be. Being pregnant at the same time and in the Order together brought them even closer. The Weasleys also wanted you too; Molly was pregnant at the time, if I remember, or had just given birth. The Diggorys also wanted to adopt you, they wanted to give Cedric a brother," Andy said, failing to stop when Severus began shaking his head in warning.
That wasn't what Harry should be hearing right now, it wouldn't bring him any comfort.
"Excuse me," Harry said, abruptly leaving the kitchen. Thudding feet went through the house and stopped up on top of them. Harry's room was above the kitchen, it was the biggest room in the house, or rather was until it was turned into mini apartments.
"What's wrong? I thought it might bring him some sort of comfort," Andy said looking confused.
"Unfortunately, now Harry will believe himself responsible for what happened to the Longbottoms. He will think they were tortured because they offered to take him in, not because Lestrange wanted information. There's also the fact that Harry does blame himself for the death of Cedric Diggory. The knowledge they could have been raised as brothers will torture him for years," Severus sighed. "Now if you will excuse me, I'm going to have a word with him. I will try and get through his thick skull that he doesn't hold any blame for what happened."
"I am sorry, Severus…I was just trying to help," Andy sighed sadly.
"I know," Severus said. He was just starting to get up when an owl flew through the open window straight at him. Closing his eyes, he prayed for patience, because he didn't have much left. Not after finding out his godson had neglected his duties, breaking the first rule of Slytherin: Always help a fellow Slytherin in need of it; they are your brothers-in-arms for the next seven years. Now he had to deal with a guilt-tripping Harry Potter, and of course whatever this owl wanted from him as well. Today just wasn't his day at all, he couldn't wait until it was over.
"Fantastic," Severus grunted after reading the message.
"What is it?" Narcissa asked.
"I have to collect Mr. Potter and take him to Hogwarts at dawn tomorrow," Severus growled.
"Dawn? Don't Muggles sleep?" Draco asked, wide eyed.
"Of course they do!" Ted loudly shouted, causing Draco to jump at his unexpected volume. "Muggles? Who came up with such a name? It makes them sound like a bunch of criminals!" Ted grouched.
Severus walked out of the kitchen shaking his head, silently as usual making his way to Harry's room. He shouldn't have left it this long; Lily would have killed him for not doing it sooner. He had to make Harry see that what had happened wasn't his fault, by laying out different scenarios. Hopefully before he goes back to Hogwarts, he will have realized it wasn't his fault. Otherwise it was going to be something Dumbledore could and would use against him.
He smirked at the sign on Harry's door; it was a crest-like design, a lion on one hand and a snake on the other. Both were holding onto what most Muggles and Muggle-borns would recognize was the scales of justice. Of course there was usually a woman statue holding them, but hey, nobody could say it wasn't fitting. The scales had been uneven too long, but with Harry running a sanctuary and helping people fight the war, and leading them himself, the scales had tipped back into balance. Once Harry was ready to face Voldemort, the scales would definitely tip in their favour.
So, yes, he indeed liked Harry's symbol.
The symbol of hope.
The Sign of the New Order.
Edited - 12/06/15 by Jake and Jordre Thank you guys!