disclaimer: I'm not J. K. Rowling. I don't own any of her characters. I just borrowed them without permission but I'm not doing it for profit. I only want to play so please don't sue me.
author's note: I can't believe that I'm actually doing this. For so many years I avoided reading Harry Potter, then I read 1-7 in scarcely two weeks, completely hooked.
I never thought I would ever start writing fanfiction based on a book and I honestly respect Mrs Rowling's work, the wizarding world she has created. But then I woke up one morning and while listening to the song 'From Yesterday' by 'Thirty seconds to Mars' I came to the conclusion that I have to send someone to save a life…
Don't expect to see much of Hogwarts, I'm too old to write about school so I would rather mess up the lives of those at Grimmauld Place.
1- owl post
It was late at night and I had just stretched out on my bed, feeling pleasantly tired after a hard day's work. On the ceiling overhead an old fan was rattling with every turn. I tried to ignore it and probably would have managed if not for the hooting sound that now came from outside. There was also a soft pecking as if a bird was clicking its beak against the window pane, begging me to let it in. I looked at the window and saw an owl sitting there, staring at me with big, bight-yellow eyes.
Of course it didn't fly away. It merely cocked its head then started clicking at the window again, enthusiastically, as if it had something really important to tell.
"Alright then," I hissed as I sat up, eying the owl reasonably annoyed, "what d'ye want?"
The owl was carrying a small packet, apparently a pile of parchments. It had been quite a while since someone had send me owl post, and I wasn't all too keen opening it. Why can't people just give me a call? I wondered, as I read the message attached to the parchments.
Meet me at the Leaky Cauldron, tomorrow at midnight. The Order of the Phoenix is recruiting new members. Further information inside.
Remember, CONSTANT VIGILACE!
Well, some people don't call because they had never learned to use a telephone (or had never even seen one) I rolled my eyes, pondering what to do. Since the invitation had been so polite I could hardly restrain myself from pulling a pillow over my head to finally get some sleep, but on the other hand I knew quite well what was going on at the other side of the pond, in dear old England. News had spread quickly, so quickly that it had reached me even deep in the jungle of Haiti where I had been spending my time recently doing a job. You're not choosey when you're freelance and any job helps to pay your rent- besides, there are worse dangers than a country at war with itself and marauding gangs roaming the streets at night. However, the allegedly ever so hazardous Voodoo priestess gone wild had not been a real challenge for me… at least not as much as the sudden power outages that happened too often for my liking and always when least needed. I just wanted to pick up the phone on my bedside table when I noticed that the rattling of the fan had stopped. Needless to say the line was dead.
Since I hadn't wanted to spend more time than necessary in this unfriendly part of the world anyway I quickly threw my belongings which had somehow spread all over the room in my bag (which held more space than it actually looked like) stuffed the parchments inside too, and said goodbye to the cheap, shabby hotel that had been my home those past few days. I had already paid the bill so no one would miss me.
A moment later I walked the streets of Santo Domingo, capitol of the Dominican Republic, where I found a bar that was still open. I ordered a glass of rum, gulped in down, and asked if I could use their phone. It didn't take me long to book a seat on the next flight to London- actually I was quite good in getting the what seemed to be the very last seat on an already booked out flight. Might have something to do with my charming voice… or the fact that I was a witch.
Yep, I'm a witch. Not my fault. Never wanted to be one but since there's nothing I can do about it I had learned to cope with the fact and make the most of it. That didn't mean though that you'd ever see me flying across the Atlantic Ocean on a broomstick. I prefer planes. Planes are a wonderful thing. You sit down, have a drink or two, and- if you don't have a pile of parchments delivered by an owl in front of you- you can take a nice nap. Alas, I had to study those papers before reaching London.
It didn't come as a surprise to find out that Lord Voldemort was back. I mean, why would the Order or the Phoenix want to recruit new members if there wasn't any need, if the old villain was still hiding somewhere, licking his wounds? So the only surprise was why they would want me of all people to join? Well, in a few hours I would know.
I flickered through some newspaper clippings that were also included. Apparently the Ministry of Magic did not believe in Voldemort's return which just proved the opinion I had of those stupid bureaucrats. There was a reason I wasn't working for them. They didn't approve to my way of living which was a balancing act between the Muggle and the wizarding world since I believed both worlds had certain advantages. Magic was a good thing but so was rock music, and I refused to see why a witch should not enjoy a rock concert or a good movie?
Anyway, whenever Voldemort was mentioned- or not mentioned, that is, since people preferred to call him You-know-who as if he would pop up behind their shoulder when speaking out his name- the talk would inevitably come to the one who had stopped him all those years ago, the Boy Who Lived. Harry Potter. I saw a picture of him in the Daily Prophet, he was a skinny, black-haired teenager wearing glasses and I swear he looked just like his father… James Potter. Along with his best friend Sirius Black they were the terror of my teenage years in Hogwarts, the famous School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
My thoughts drifted off, way back in time, to when my perfectly happy childhood had abruptly ended with a letter from said school…
"…but Mum, why can't I go to the school Emma's going?" I asked for about the thousandth time though no matter how much I begged and pleaded and cried the answer was always the same. Almost overnight my best friend Emma had become a Muggle and I wasn't even allowed to tell her. Life wasn't fair…
King's Cross, platform nine and three-quarters, on a cold and grey September morning. The Hogwarts Express stood waiting, ready for deportation- at least that's what I thought, feeling unloved and unwanted by my parents who were so cruel to send me away into an unknown exile…Father, was delighted to see so many wizards and witches around, and he assured me that I'd find some wonderful friends there. Actually he looked so goddamned excited that I felt tempted to tell him he should go to that stupid school instead of me…
My fate was sealed. The train left the station, left London behind, heading northwards. I was fighting with my heavy trunk, looking for a quiet compartment where I could dwell in my misery…
I wasn't a pretty child. I was pale, small, a little too fat. It certainly didn't improve my looks that I had cut off my long, black hair in a fit of defiant protest last night so that it was now accentuating my round face in a very unflattering way….
"Oooh, little girl's crying, missing mummy and daddy. You can sit with the red head over there, she's crying too," a boy sneered when I opened the door of any compartment just to sit down, tired of dragging my heavy trunk. Blinking away the tears in my eyes I saw a girl, hunched in a corner seat beside the window. She seemed to be crying too. So not everyone was happy about being sent away. I remained at the door though, not knowing whether to enter.
"Sit down or leave. We don't want you to get stuck in the door," said another boy, and both of them started laughing. I didn't like them. If that was what young wizards were supposed to be I hated the prospect of having to go to this horrible school with them even more, and I backed away from the door, slamming it shut to not hear them laughing at me anymore. I was crying again…
…a pallid, sleazy-looking boy with greasy black hair entered the compartment and sat down opposite the girl at the window. I didn't hear what they were talking about; I didn't really care…
…a few minutes later the two other boys roared with laughter. The girl at the window sat up, looking at them in dislike.
"Come on, Severus, let's find another compartment."
The boy with the glasses tried to trip the one called Severus, someone called, "See ya, Snivellus!", and the compartment door slammed once again…
"Come with us," said the red haired girl as she steered me and the pallid boy to the last free compartment where we all sat down. "I'm Lily Evans, and that's my friend Severus Snape."
He gave me the impression that I wasn't welcome, that he'd rather be alone with Lily, but his attitude changed when I told them my name…My name- it had never caused me any problems in the Muggle world although people thought it strange. But then again I believe that's what it was supposed to be, given that my dad was a magician. In the world of wizards however, it had a nasty ring associating it with Death Eaters (whatever that was- I didn't know it then) and that was probably one of the reasons why the Sorting Hat made such a tragic mistake the night when I arrived at Hogwarts. Though my Mum had tried to tell me about the different houses at Hogwarts I hadn't paid heed, stubbornly refusing to listen to anything about the place I dreaded going to. My mind was filled with aversion and my only thoughts were that I didn't want to end up in the same house as the two arrogant boys I had met on the train. One of them, Sirius Black, was Sorted into Gryffindor and so, unfortunately, was Lily Evans too. Then my name was called and I had to put the Sorting Hat onto my head... I don't want to be here, I don't want to be here, I don't want to be here, I repeated over and over in my head, hoping that this incantation would persuade the Sorting Hat to not Sort me into any of the houses but send me home instead. Needless to say that my hopes did not come true although the Sorting Hat took quite a while to come to a conclusion. I heard a soft "Huff…" as if breathing out loud but at long last it shouted, "SLYTHERIN!" I thought that was good since James Potter- the other boy from the train- was Sorted into Gryffindor while Severus Snape was to join me in Slytherin. Of course that was before I knew what it would like to be in Slytherin, the house that had turned out more Dark wizards and witches than any other. It was also before the prefect, Lucius Malfoy, led me as well as the other first-years into a dark dungeon that was going to be our home from now on… I can still remember the dark, windowless dungeon, the heavy silver and green hangings… so different from my home where everything had been bright and friendly, the walls painted in yellow, my Mum buzzing around, humming and singing, decorating the rooms with flowers… An impersonal voice from the speakers above told me that we were soon approaching London Heathrow Airport. I must have fallen asleep sometime during the flight but that didn't mean I was well rested.
Shaking off my memories of Hogwarts I made it through customs and left the airport building to light a cigarette. Then I noticed that I would most likely be too late for my appointment in the Leaky Cauldron. No way to arrive there at least halfway in time if I took the underground. So I hurried to a quiet parking deck, waited until there was really no one around, and produced the miniature model of a Harley Davidson from my bag. I set it down on the floor pointed my wand at it and said silently, "Engorgio."
The miniature motorcycle became a full sized one, a dream of gleaming steel and airbrush design. I ran an affectionate hand over the handlebars and all the way down to the comfortable leather seat, feeling proud and happy that I could call such a beauty my own. There was nothing better than riding a beautifully shining Harley, to hear the deep roaring of its engine…. maybe I was a miserable witch since I had failed to get this feeling from flying on a broomstick. Well, actually my flying lessons had been a complete disaster, ending with many broken bones.
"Stick your hand over our brooms and say 'Up'!"
It wasn't only mine that didn't jump into my hand, there were others who definitely tried it harder than I did. I was in Hogwarts for two months now and still hated every single moment. My own house, Slytherin, loathed me because I lost them points, and the Gryffindors loathed me simply because I was in Slytherin…
We were told how to mount our brooms without sliding off, then we had to kick off from the ground. Half-heartedly I kicked the ground but nothing happened. Of course not, I didn't even want to fly on a broomstick.
"Fat crows can't fly! Fat crows can't fly!" James Potter shouted mockingly as he shot through the air, criss-crossing the training grounds at full speed, the most talented flyer of all of us.
Suddenly my broomstick shot up and I fell down. Laughter roared. "Fat crows can't fly!" They fell silent though when I was taken to the hospital ward where I had to swallow a dose of Skele-Gro and live through a night of pain while my broken arm healed…
Just before I was about to end up in an equally unpleasant situation I fortunately remembered that I was back in Britain where you drive on the left. After recalling that I was soon on the motorway heading to London city, enjoying the speed.
I parked in front of the Leaky Cauldron ten minutes past midnight. It was a tiny and so grubby-looking pub that Muggles didn't seem to see it. I don't think they missed anything since it was also dark and shabby inside, and definitely not my favourite place to go and have a date. But then again the man I was about to meet wasn't my favourite choice of date either.
He immediately looked up when I entered revealing a face that was so scarred it looked as if someone with poor ideas of human features had tried to carve it out of wood but failed. A large chunk of his nose was missing and one of his small, dark eyes was replaced by a larger one, round as a coin. Its colour was a vivid, electric blue, and it restlessly kept on rotating, moving constantly without blinking, rolling up and down, from left to right, or it rolled over in the back of his head. They said this magical eye could see through Invisible Cloaks and I often wondered if it could also see through normal clothes. I always felt a bit- um, exposed in his presence.
"You're late," he growled.
"Yeah, it's good to see you too," I said and wanted to bend over to breathe a welcoming kiss on his withered cheek when he suddenly pointed his wand at me. I raised my hands in defence. "Hey, stay cool, Moody. It's me-"
"You look like you but you could also be someone else impersonating you."
"Sure, but how many witches you know would blame the reason for them being late on the pilot of the plane that brought them here from the Caribbean?"
"Yep, plane- Muggle way of transport, perfect for long distances despite occasional delays."
He rolled his real eye and smiled though that didn't really improve his looks. "Raven. Why can't you use a Portkey or Apparation like any other witch?"
"Because of free drinks and peanuts," I told him seriously before looking around for Tom, the toothless and quite bald landlord of the Leaky Cauldron. Now that I had mentioned drinks I could use one. No doubt that my dear friend Alastor 'Mad-Eye' Moody would give me a lengthy report of conspiracies and dangers lying in wait for all of us that were fighting the Dark Arts. Of course I was right.
Though he reminded me of "ConstantVigilance" I couldn't help my eyelids growing heavier as he rambled on. Damn, I hated the jetlag after transatlantic flights. I ordered a coffee but after the first sip I was reminded by its horrible taste that I was back in good old England again where it was more likely to meet a friendly Dementor than to get a decent cup of coffee. I spluttered the horrible brew all over the table but in the end this cruel attack against my delicate taste buds made me wide awake within seconds.
"Moody," I interrupted him, pressing him with the questions that had been burning on my mind ever since his owl had found me, "why did you send for me? Why would the Order of the Phoenix want me to join?"
He stared at me as if I had gone mad although it definitely wasn't in my name.
"You're a good auror," he said matter-of-factly.
I was flattered to hear such words of praise from him. Well, it certainly was a long way from the pathetic little girl that had tried so hard to pretend she was a squib in hope of getting expelled from Hogwarts to the freelanced auror I was now.
"I had a good teacher," I replied softly, and suddenly I was glad I had come here tonight. Moody had always supported me even though I was famous for picking a quarrel with almost every Ministry of Magic around the world. It's been a long time since we had last met, some years ago in Athens, where we had rounded up and crushed a gang of vampires that had intended to turn the Acropolis into a temple for the Dark Lord.
He got up. "The Order of the Phoenix is meeting tomorrow at seven o'clock. Will you attend?"
Moody reached in his pocket and surreptitiously handed me a small piece of paper. "You'll need this…"
The Headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix may be found at number twelve, Grimmauld Place, London, I read. "Ah, Fidelius Charm."
I used my lighter to set fire to the paper and then lit a cigarette with it, exhaling thoughtfully as I watched the paper crumble to ashes.
"Who else will be there?"
But Mad-Eye Moody had already disappeared.