The aged Albus Dumbledore sat at the head of the Wizangamot in a closed session. IT had been many centuries that since it had been done, but the evidence presented to the group required an immediate dismissal of the Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge. Albus never thought that the minister was a Death Eater. Yes, he was susceptible to bribes, he was easily politically maneuvered and passed law after law making it easier to do dark magic, but the headmaster couldn't believe he was a death eater. Well, until he was questioned under Veritaserum and confessed.
The Wizengamot even had death eaters and Voldemort supporters among their midst. Twelve of the fifty-one members of the court were convicted just this day for supporting the Dark Lord. Each had been given Veritaserum before the meeting and was immediately detained.
Dumbledore pinched the bridge of his nose as another wave of his headache came suddenly. He'd been listening to another member drone on and on about the first war. His headache came in the form of Harry Potter, savior of the wizarding world and all that hype. They wanted to use him. They wanted him to make statements about how this war would be different, how the light would be triumphant, and how everyone would be safe if the people do as the ministry says.
They didn't care that at that moment Harry Potter was crying about the loss of his Godfather. They didn't care that Harry blamed himself for every death and attack that happened over the year. They didn't care that he was shunned by the world, called a fraud, and dragged in the mud in the press with hardly an apology.
The more Albus thought about his young charge, the worse his headache began. The wards at Number Four, Privet Drive were failing. He was sent home a week earlier, at the end of the school term, to reinforce the blood protections, but alas it was to no avail. The wards continued to weaken as if he weren't home. Tonks and Lupin had been sent to spend time with Harry. Hoping that an emotionally stable Harry would strengthen the wards, but grieving takes time. If Harry Potter couldn't be healthy, Voldemort would attack the moments the wards fail, and the world be left without their beacon of hope.
Dumbledore's mind shifted to the present as a new person spoke about who should be the Minister. After a lengthy discussion, Rufus Scrimgeour was decided, must to Abus' dismay. The Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement would be a good choice, if he wouldn't try to enlist Harry as a poster boy, as would any minister. Scrimgeour would, of course, do his best to enlist Harry for the cause.
It always came back to Harry Potter. Albus knew that if he would be allowed, he would stand and fight with the Order of the Pheonix, trash the ministry publicly at every opportunity, blame himself for everything that went wrong, and attack Voldemort himself without mercy. No, he couldn't let Scrimgeour get his dirty little hands on the boy. He had to train the boy himself until he was ready to take on the Dark Lord. He was going to stop at nothing to help the lad be the victor. He must help the prophecy along the path of light.
Oh, prophecies may not come true all the time, but this one had already come to be in both Harry and Tom, and nothing could stop the two from fulfilling Voldemorts self made destiny.
Voldemort would stop at nothing to prove he was the greatest wizard alive, and Harry would defend every living creature Voldemort threatened. The boy's sense of love inspired Dumbledore himself to keep going. How he was able to love was a mystery to the man. Of course, Harry didn't realize it was love. He never truly learned what love felt like.
That was another thought that gave him a headache. His own choices brought about the way Harry Potter had lived. A victim of circumstances, Harry was. He condemned an infant to a childhood worse than Tom Riddle. Somehow Harry Potter came out better than Tom Riddle. There was truly no reason for Harry Potter to have such a capacity for love. He was hated and despised by his only blood relatives, and yet he came out on top of the world. It truly amazed the man how the boy was who he was.
Albus once again came out of his reverie as the topic of fighting came about. The Rules of Engagement was always a sore topic with him. He knew that a prison filled with the enemy was an incentive for a mass breakout, but he didn't like the killing. Although he debated, the rules were set against his own want. With the dementors now in the hands of Voldemort and the entire prison under his control, there wasn't much Albus could do to change their minds. Aurors were granted the use of the Unforgivables to death eaters, and his Order of the Phoenix was once again granted Auror Status. The Unspeakable Warlock Corps were now gathering intelligence and sharing with the Order, and vice versa.
This was decidedly different from the last. Voldemort was growing more powerful faster. If something wasn't done quickly, then England would soon be in the deadly hands of Voldemort, the rest of Europe would soon follow.
Oh, his recruitment had gone well over the last year. Far too well. Voldemorts forces were already building through the whole of Europe, but he was most interested in taking England first. HE wanted to prove that he had the right to rule his Alma Mater; he wanted to take Hogwarts, the beacon of light, but most importantly, he wanted to prove to world he was the most powerful wizard in the world by killing Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore. He wanted to show the world that an impudent little boy and a meddlesome old fool were no match for him.
Alus Dumbledore sighed as he called the meeting to a close. There wasn't much more that could be done this day. Most of the issues brought up had been taken care of, and the Wizengamot needed a rest before they continued. With another sigh, and not speaking to anyone, he called Fawkes, and a burst of flames left the room in the ministry of magic, and was standing in front of his desk at Hogwarts.
"Oh Harry, What will I do with you?" he asked no one looking at some instruments on the shelf behind his desk. The Headmaster had repaired all the broken devices from Harry tirade, needing them to monitor certain wards. The silver balls on the shelf behind his desk were spinning slowly, too slowly for Albus' comfort. They were the ones for Number Four, Privet Drive, and the faster they spun, the stronger the wards. "If you don't cheer up in a week, the wards will fail. What can I do for you?" he said again.
It was quite convenient that he was looking at the wards strength because at that moment, the wards stopped functioning altogether. They stopped spinning completely, all of them. Every ward that had to do with Harry Potter stopped. The little silver balls, strangely enough, started spinning backwards. "WHAT?" Dumbledore asked the air as the balls spun in the wrong direction faster than he thought possible. All of a sudden, the balls exploded in a shower of silver, sprawling Albus onto the floor, and knocking him unconscious. A feat few thought possible.
It had been a miserable week for Harry Potter. Since he had been sent home from school, his misery had only increased daily. He couldn't get thoughts of his godfather, Sirius Black, out of his head. The more he tried to get his mind off him, the more he thought of him. It wasn't that every task he did reminded him of Sirius, but they did remind him of what he hadn't been able to do with him. Certainly if there were a hell on Earth, it was in the mind of Harry Potter.
Oh, this year was quite different from all others. Harry had guests. Albus saw fit, after the Dursleys picked up Harry from Kings Cross Station, to send Nymphadora Tonks and Remus Lupin to Harry so that they could mourn together and help each other. Harry would have enjoyed this company if it weren't for the constant nagging on his mind that if he got close to them, he would lose them.
Every joke that came out of Tonks mouth and every sad look from Remus made Harry cry. It was, as Harry said to Remus that night at dinner, the worst week in his life. Remus was undeniable affronted. He knew Harry was trying to push him away, and he knew why. But it still hurt. It was a nagging deep down that said this boy has never known love, and he's showing it.
Lupin's own tears streaked down his face as he turned away from the boy. His normal calm nature broke, and he was almost in hysterics. Why does this biy have to go through all this? All his anger and hate and anguish culminated as the tears poured from his eyes. He couldn't let the last link to his friends see him like this. He had to be strong for him. He silently stood up from the chair in Harry cramped bedroom and bolted for the door, with Tonks looking after him.
When she turned back to Harry, he was once again crying. No, it wasn't uncommon, but this time was different. Harry was crying for pushing someone away again, for someone he loved. He knew the man just wanted to help, but he couldn't stand it anymore. He finally said he was other than fine, and he broke the last link to his parent's heart.
Tonks didn't grasp the meaning though. No, she understood that the boy was having the worst week in his life. He lost his father, so to speak. He hardly was able to get to know the man, but loved him all the same as a father. It was, to Harry, like losing both parents at the same time…for a second time…only this time he knew them. That was what she thought Harry was crying about.
She watched as Harry sobbed into his hands, his body trembling and his shoulders shaking. He cried silently, always without a sound. She stood up and sat next to where e was sitting on the bed, and wrapped her arm around him. And like before, he rested his head on her shoulder. Always the same.
His mouth moved silently, his murmuring expelling no sound. She wished she could hear what he was saying. She wished she could help the poor boy…no, man. He couldn't go through what he had and still be a boy. He was already mature enough to know when he couldn't be alone in his depression. He always accepted the offered shoulder this past week, though he rarely spoke. When he did speak, however, it broke Remus Heart, but she never heard his murmuring while cried. She never knew that when he cried he wished he was normal, and not the kid in the prophecy, or the Boy-Who-Lived. He wished he'd never been a wizard.
This time, he wished something different. He wished he'd just be rid of his sorrow. Why couldn't he get over it? There was always a nagging feeling when he cried about the people he knew, even the ones he didn't like. Always a nagging about the way he treated them or the way he thought about them. As he cried, he mumbled about that very feeling.
What is this feeling? Why does is nag at my very core. But this time, He felt is somewhere else. He felt it to his left. And he felt it where his head touched Tonks shoulder. He could feel it from outside the house. He felt it all around him, in fact. What is this feeling? From my pocket?
Tonks suddenly felt a surge of power coming from the outside. The wards, she thought, must be strengthening at last. She felt more than saw Harry pull out his wand. Then she felt the spinning, and it was coming not from the wards, but from Harry himself. Harry himself was sending the magic out.
As he held his wand, staring at it on his lap, his thoughts went everywhere, or more specifically, everyone. He thought about that nagging feeling some more. He's felt it from everyone, to varying degrees, except for one man. Tom Riddle himself. He could not understand it, but love was washing all through him. That was what he felt when he cried. Love so strong it was about to change his life. With one more love filled tear, his life would never be the same.
Filled with happiness and sorrow, he watched as a single tear fell from his eye and dripped on his wand. It was as if the world was in slow motion. Light sprang from his wand like a blazing red fire and consumed the entire room, a fire that neither burned nor blazed. As a magical backlash would, the light spread through the house, stopping aat the windows and walls before dissipating.
Remus, standing outside, was quite shocked as he watched as the blood red wards sparked to their death; fireworks in the pitch black night, a blinding brilliance. When his eyes cleared, he rushed into the house and up to Harry's room to get him out of the house. If the wards failed, Harry must leave.
He raced up the stairs, casting a Patronus message on the way. When he managed to arrive in the bedroom, he was shocked. Harry and Tonks were laying on the bed, glowing red, and unconscious. Tonks features betrayed her surprise, and Harry appeared to be sleeping soundly. Surprisingly he was smiling. A content and happy smile he'd never seen on the boys face. It shocked him to core, and for a moment he forgot what he was doing. He was glowing, for crying out loud. The wards fell, but Harry seemed happy.
The last thought about the ward brought him back from his thoughts and into action. He didn't want to touch them, afraid of what may happen to himself, so he turned the bed into a portkey and whisked them all away to the hospital wing at Hogwarts.
If it weren't for the situation, the arrival at the hospital wing would have been funny. Harry, not yet accustomed to portkey travel, fell off the bed. Tonks, always clumsy herself, was still holding Harry, and as Harry fell, she fell as well. The landing entwined the both of them, so they looked more like they were cuddling.
Dumbledore had been brought in immediately after collapsing by a house elf, and was recently revived and about to portkey to Harry when they arrived. He dropped the portkey with a shock and was openmouthed at the scene before him. His eyes lost all the twinkle they had just weeks ago. Madame Pomphrey immediately rushed to the two as Remus, realizing the bed was no longer needed, banished it.
"Don't touch them," the nurse ordered as she began doing diagnostics spells at the two glowing people lying on the floor in front of her. She worked for a good fifteen minutes, all the while Order members arriving, having been notified by Remus Patronus.
The Weasleys were the last to arrive. "What happened to them? Why are they glowing?" asked a disheveled Molly, tears in her eyes. Arthur had the sense to hug the matriarch and she immediately returned the embrace and cried on his shoulder.
"I think we would all like to know," said Albus in Remus' direction.
"I had just stepped outside for a moment, when all of a sudden, the wards collapsed. I ran to get Harry out, and this is what I found," replied the werewolf waving to Harry and Tonks. "Then I turned the bed into a portkey, and that's it." Although he said it without emotion, the look in his eyes betrayed his sadness. He couldn't, wouldn't lose the last link to his only friends. They all looked at Poppy as she expanded a bed and lay both of them together on the now doublewide.
"Well," the matron began, "There is nothing wrong with them physically, but their magic…" She shook her head. "Albus, take a look, I don't know what to make of it."
Cries of "What!?" and "You can't make of it?" were heard as Albus waved his wand over the two. A, "Hmm," from Albus stopped the voices, and an, "Strange," raised eyebrows of all present. Even Moody looked shocked as Albus said, "I've never heard of anything like this before. It seems that Harry and Nymphadora's magic is changing. The change seems to be coming from both Harry and his wand. The magic of his wand is dissipating, being filtered through Harry, and is changing them. I must speak to Ollivander about this. I don't know if he can help, but I must find out."
"But Albus, he's missing," came the shaky voice of Molly.
"Yes he is," replied Albus his eyes now twinkling, "Fawkes." In a brilliant burst of flames, that caused Remus' eyes to tear, the beautiful Phoenix appeared on Albus' shoulder. Could you please collect Mr. Ollivander for me? I have need of his expertise." The bird looked at Albus, then few into the air, hovering above Harry and Tonks, and wiggled it's tail, dropping three tail feathers. The bird trilled a happy song, and flew away in another burst of flame.
Albus rushed over immediately on the disappearance of Fawkes and began another round of wand waving and muttering over the glowing couple. "Interesting." He said.
"What's interesting?" Moody growled. "I'm tired of riddles already. Help the boy."
"Well, Alaster," Dumbledore said with a wink, "It seems that Fawkes was not content with power of one wand core, so he gave Harry three more. For those who don't know, the core in Harry's wand is a Phoenix feather." With nods all around, signifying everyone knew this, it was in the Daily Profit after all, he continued. "The Phoenix that gave the feather was, indeed, Fawkes. It seems that Fawkes might know what's happening. Now, I suggest as there's nothing more we can do, we all head to the Great Hall and have ourselves some dinner."
As the group emptied the infirmary to troop to the Great Hall, Dobby apparated in. He was called by the magic that was Harry Potter. Ringing his hand he looked the bed. "Oh, my," he called loudly. "The great Harry Potter. Dobby can't believe. It can't be! The Great Harry Potter is using Old Magic. Harry potter is Great. Harry Potter, sir, wake up when you are ready." With those last words, the Elf apparated out of the hospital room, and went about his business in the kitchen.
Dinner was a somber affair. Not knowing what was happening to Harry put everyone present on edge. Molly had gone to Headquarters to collect the children and inform them of Harry and Tonks condition. Albus was hoping beyond hope that the twins would liven up the crown. Remus stared at his plate, pushing his food around. No one dared speak to him. Moody just huffed and grunted now and again. Everyone else simply ate in quite, until, "Where is he? What happened? How can I help? The Headmaster should be able to do something." broke the silence.
It was typical Hermione. "Can we see him now?" asked Ron. His gangly form from just a week ago seemed to fill out in just a week.
"I don't think that wise until we find out what is happening," came the grandfatherly voice of Dumbledore. "We will let you know of any developments. And when we are sure it is safe, you may see him."
HI speech was interrupted by the sound of hoofs clomping in the entrance hall. Everyon stilled as the doors opened and the Centaur, Firenze, entered. "Ah, Headmaster," Firenze said. "I wish to inform you that certain developments," to all but Dumbledore he looked up to the stars, but he was looking towards Harry, "have called me back to herd. I was instructed to inform you that when the stars stop shining, all will be well." Without another word, Firenze left the building.
"More riddles" growled Moody while Albus' eyes twinkled.
"He has certainly been more cryptic." This time it was Ron, to the pleasure of Albus and the consternation of Hermione.
"How?" asked Hermione.
"Well," he stated as Dumbledore smiled. "His herd wants him back after what happened to Harry. And everything will be safe when he stops glowing."
"How do you get that?" questioned Fred, or was it George?
"He said, 'certain developments' while looking at the hospital wing, meaning Harry and Tonks. And 'when the stars stop shining' meaning when their glowing stops. We were talking about visiting them, so 'all will be well' means we can go see them."
"How did you pick all that up?" asked Ginny as if it were the last thing on earth he could do.
"When did you become so perceptive?" asked Hermione.
"Huh?" asked Ron staring at Hermione.
"Now that's," said one twin. "Our ickle," continued the other. "Ronniekins" they both finished.
"Gits." He stated with a grimace before joining in the evening meal.