Author: enchanted nightingale
Disclaimer: The characters belong to J.K. Rowling. I merely use them in my plot for fun. But other characters like Ailill Frideswide and those Elves that will appear in this chapter are mine, created for this story.
Pairs: Harry/Lucius, Ron/Hermione, Neville/Ginny, Remus/Tonks, Bill/Fleur
Chapter 16: Moments and Happenings
Fleur flicked her wand and the dishes washed in the sink. With another flick the laundry folded neatly in the basket. With a satisfied look she sat back on the chair. It had been necessary to learn house hold charms as she and Bill moved in together in the cottage like house by the sea. It had been purchased with the money Bill made from working with the Goblins. He had asked her to move in long before the proposal came. Her parents knew and approved of this move; they agreed that the couple should know each other's habits better and see how it would work for after they married. Bill's parents were in the dark about it. The young witch knew that Molly especially would not approve of this. And Fleur knew that the woman did not like her much as it was.
Still, the letter she received was what had her somewhat worried.
Her parents were coming to Great Britain to meet the future in-laws; among other things. They wanted to announce something to her. A surprise. And they wanted her family, her in-laws and Harry there for the announcement.
"Zis could go so wong," the witch sighed.
Her parents were too liberal, outgoing and modern, and that was putting it mildly. Even among the Parisian magical community. Her mother, being ½ Veela was used to a different lifestyle, suited to her creature's needs. Fleur herself had doubted she would be lucky enough to find her destined bond mate when she was still young. Her mother and grandmother had succeeded, but many of her cousins and friends had not been lucky.
"Fleur!" Bill's voice came from the hall.
The tall, long haired red head entered the kitchen with a smile, which faltered when he saw her.
"Something wrong love?" he asked as he bent down to kiss his girlfriend.
Fleur moaned into the kiss, enjoying the taste of his mouth. But Bill pulled back too soon for her liking.
"How about telling me now?" Bill asked Fleur.
She pouted. "Non, I am still mad wit you."
Bill smirked. "Is that how you want to play it?"
Fleur gave him a wide-eyed, innocent look. And it would have worked had Bill not known his girlfriend and soon to be wife so well.
So the red haired curse breaker lifted her from her seat and backed her up against the counter and pulled her against him for a rough kiss. Fleur moaned into his mouth, enjoying as he took charge. She wrapped her slim arms around his neck and her long legs around his waist. Bill pulled back but Fleur pulled him back to her.
"I will learn," he panted.
"bien sûr,(Of course) but not before two hours haf passed," Fleur warned him.
"Here? In the kitchen?" Bill chuckled.
Fleur just shrugged and kissed him.
Afterwards while Bill was sleeping the part Veela kissed him softly on the head and went to write to her sister. Normally surprises were good and pleasant but when her mother in law was involved she would like as few unknown factors as possible. So she started composing a letter to her younger sister, fishing for more information and after that was done she wrote to Harry to invite him over for the holiday. It would be nice to have someone along that could help her pull through with whatever they had in store.
Harry and Draco were partners for the day while Hermione was paired up with Nariel for the assignment.
The two Elves had been a bit upset when one of the ingredients they were supposed to use was Bubotuber Puss. Harry had blanched and almost gagged. Nariel was more composed than he but still grimaced.
"Just get on with it Harry," Draco nudged him. "We need to put this in the potion soon."
Harry nodded. He feared that if he opened his mouth he would get sick. Once again he wondered what made him continue with this class. Still, now that the Slytherin was not sabotaging him it was not nearly that bad. And Hermione had managed to rein in any tendencies to lecture people when Nariel was around so at least one more confrontation was avoided there. No, potions was not that bad this year. Defence was though. Harry still was not allowed prolonged time along with the blond. The urges were still there. At least now that he was not the only Elf around things were looking up.
Enelya was bored. Bored. Bored. Bored. Her excitement at being in a wizard school with magic all around had long worn off and the she-Elf was frustrated. She wanted to run, fight, hide, do all the things she did while training like an Elf but could not lest eyes that were not supposed to see her noticed her. The half creature professor in this class was not all that bad; he certainly was amusing enough, but barely. Enelya had an urge to cause mischief due to her boredom. She weighed the pros and cons of creating a little fun but then Flitwick looked at her and her dancing pear and clapped.
The rest of the class stared her way and Enelya blinked.
She eyed her dancing fruit and then the onlookers. A flush of delight appeared on her face. It was a long time since the last time she was good enough on something in order to be singled out. Perhaps she ought to wait and not do anything to bring chaos to this class, especially since she kind of liked it. She recalled Harry mentioning a pair of twins as being the best pranksters and she wanted to be something similar. Perhaps Harry would be willing to help. But that was a thought for later.
The runespoor was bored in the room, all three heads agreed to it. Their Elf master had been very nice, creating a small paradise for all three heads to be satisfied they agreed that it was not enough. They needed a larger space. Their natural curiosity could not be satisfied without further stimulation. So he carefully snuck out of the comfortable room.
The wide, loud and cold halls of Hogwarts castle were an unpleasant experience for the cold blooded creature. Almost immediately the snake wanted to return to the warmth of Harry's rooms where the cold did not make him want to sleep but sheer stubbornness and curiosity about the big stone nest had them go on. Aapep expertly dodged a four legged feline when it appeared around a corner, remembering his master's orders to not harm other animals that roamed the castle but when the cat lunged at him the snake did not stay idle. With a move not unlike a cobra's, he attacked the cat, all fangs and teeth and dripping venom. The feline took the message and jumped away and ran in the opposite direction. Aapep curled back, feeling rather smug.
The snake reared on of its three heads and scented the air. From one direction he could smell prey. From another he could smell mould and from a third he could feel more warmth. He relayed the information to the other heads and a three way debate started, lasting until a pair of first year olds came across the snake and screamed. The noise got Aapep's attention.
$Not Good,$ all three heads hissed together in Parseltongue.
…Later, Harry's rooms…
Aapep was in his tank, grounded after the earful Harry got when the crafty bugger managed to escape the rooms and roam the castle, scaring a few Ravenclaw firsties. But the snake was the last thing on the green eyed Dark Elf's mind. Harry's green eyes were glued to the wall, or more precisely on the four portraits that covered it.
He had taken off the coverings and simply stared wide eyed at the sleeping portraits of his parents, both biological and adoptive. He studied every detail in those paintings for hours. Enelya had already stopped by at least once to get him to join them for lunch. He had declined, making the teen witch worry for him. He had sent her away with thinly veiled assurances. The glamour was barely working these days. His mentor and Dumbledore were now discussing revealing his heritage to the public. Harry was unsure about this. He feared discrimination. He feared the looks. Creatures were not looked kindly upon in the wizarding society; that category included everything from Acromantula to Vampires and Royal Elves. Not that Harry would have a choice with the rate the glamour charms were failing him. Voldemort already knew and Dumbledore feared that he might use it to turn things to his favour. The old wizard had raised many a good point and Ailill had backed him up.
"You are a Dark Elf, though most wizards don't know the difference. Just in case we need to make sure they are properly informed," Ailill explained to Harry. "The public in this country is fickle. If they misinterpret the 'Dark' part they might make you out to be the next Dark Lord."
Harry had snorted at those words. He sighed and Hermione, finally fed up at his behaviour decided to confront him.
"What is it!" she finally yelled. "You have been staring off in the distance, sighing all day long. It's driving me crazy."
Ron put a calming hand on his girlfriend's back. "He was seeing Dumbledore earlier, when you were in the library."
Hermione quickly lost her drive. "Really? What for?"
"The usual problem," Harry told her.
"I heard about Aapep's stroll," the witch gave him a reproving glance.
"Not that," the green eyed Elf replied. "About the glamour's failing," he reminded her.
Hermione sat straight on her chair. Her worry about him touched Harry. "So?"
"We will go public," Harry told her. "I have no idea when or how, but it's happening soon."
"Is this why you turned Enelya down?" Ron asked.
"Partly," Harry admitted. "Also…" he eyed the portraits of his parents.
"Oh," Ron muttered. "They haven't woken up yet? Why not?"
"They might never wake up, like other portraits," the Dark Elf said, sadness in his voice. "I would have loved to hear everything about me from them. A piece of paper is hardly enough to help me understand my roots, understand why things happened the way they did."
"I thought the visit to France helped," Hermione frowned.
"Not much," her raven haired friend said. "But not much. Even regular Elves were wary around me. Enelya and Nariel are not the norm."
"Well mate," Ron smiled at Harry. "You are Harry Potter; normality tends to shy away from you."
The other two rolled their eyes and the conversation was soon steered towards lighter topics.
…Great Hall, Breakfast…
There was an odd kind of atmosphere in the air that day.
Harry felt it and almost dreaded to leave his dorm that day. He met up with Ron for breakfast and the third part of their core group was missing and Ginny's red head was not visible in the Great Hall. Neville joined them as they loaded their plates. He looked apprehensive as well, as most boys were. Harry snuck a peak at the Head table. The majority of the professors were shooting Dumbledore odd looks. Snape, however, was glaring at the aged Headmaster.
"It so does not bode well for us," Harry muttered. At Ron and Neville's looks he shook his head. "Didn't your girlfriends tell you about that grand scheme of theirs?"
"You mean plan," Neville corrected.
"It's a conspiracy," Dean said as he and Seamus sat down near them. "So we are free to call it an evil, diabolical, scheme."
Ron spluttered and Neville sighed, not bothering to correct their dorm mates any more. After all, Hermione and Ginny had technically schemed to get their way.
"Well," Harry contemplated. "If you have already bought your girlfriends gifts you have nothing to fear, don't you? It should be painless, relatively that is."
"What about you Harry?" Seamus asked a sly grin on his face.
The green eyed wizard side stepped the question about his love life and changed the subject.
"Me? As long as there are no dancing dwarves dressed as cupids I do not really mind or care," the concealed Elf admitted.
The other boys snorted and the matter was dropped.
…Great Hall, Lunch…
As it turned out they did not have to worry about anything happening during breakfast or even lunch. Classes went by as usual. Ginny and Hermione were suspiciously smug about the whole thing and Enelya and Luna were looking rather gleeful in a way that tipped Harry off about those two knowing what was coming. As Harry was seated with the Slytherin's for lunch he got pestered by the teens of that table about the plans Hermione and Ginny had made. It was a common secret in the school that something was going to take place.
"Will there be hearts all over?"
"Merlin! I hope there aren't any singing Valentines!"
"Those dwarves were hideous…"
"I wonder who would get more songs if there were singing dwarves…"
Of course, there were those that were warning left and right that if the two Gryffindor witches had planned anything embarrassing they would be cursed within inches of their lives and Harry for once did not glare at those who voiced those thoughts as he actually agreed with them.
Nariel had also felt rather strongly about the whole thing. His attitude was rather snobbish about it and he was frowning with distaste when the other Hogwarts students regaled him with tales of the monumental stupidity Lockhart had cooked up a couple of years back.
"I am warning you now," the Elf had told Harry. "If I get tackled by a dwarf, the dwarf is dead. Enelya too. That pest knows and wouldn't tell me anything."
"You asked?" the Dark elf requested of the teen.
"There were threats involved," Draco helpfully supplied Harry.
"Some of them quite creative," Zabini added. "Say, would you like to meet my mother?" he asked Nariel, making the Slytherin's and Harry shudder.
"Down boy," Draco teased his friend. "Seriously though, I worry."
"The teachers know," Harry told the blond. "Have you asked Snape?"
Draco nodded. "He would not say."
…Great Hall, Dinner…
The air was practically vibrating with anticipation of the coming Valentine celebration. Hermione was looking giddy and she and Ginny were whispering to each other from the moment they entered the Hall for dinner. Nothing was notably different save for the fact that the tables were devoid of food until every last one of the students was seated. Satisfied that everyone was present, Albus Dumbledore stood and faced hundreds of eager faces.
"Ladies and gentlemen," he began, "As the older years recall, Valentine's Day is a particularly eventful day for us since one of our previous Defence professors took some… liberties with the celebration of it. This year, two of your colleagues, Ms's. Granger and Weasley, came up with a splendid idea that will in no way require you to run from dwarves dressed as cupids."
Here many laughed or sighed with relief, Harry among the latter group.
"Now, as I can see you are hungry," the Headmaster said. "Let us eat!" like a maestro he moved his wand in an arch and rose petals started falling from the ceiling but never landing on the tables or the students. Some reached for the petals but they just crumbled into red and white glow. Then the tables filled with food, all sorts of it and chocolate, mountains of chocolate in many flavours and forms, from cakes and sweets to drinks and even a chocolate liqueur for the professors.
Harry, a chocolate fanatic turned to Hermione and Ginny. "Thank you!" he told them as he took in the chocolate.
"Did you clear out Honeydukes?" Neville teased his girlfriend.
"Just about," Ginny confirmed.
"Then, accept this flower from me?" the Longbottom heir asked and gave her a chocolate shaped like a rose. The girl accepted it with a blush.
"And for those who once they have eaten would like some exercise," Dumbledore's next words made several grin. Soft music started playing, making many look around only to see some of the school ghosts serenading them. It was soft music that fitted in the background perfectly and allowed the living to talk and laugh. There were a few instruments that played on their own as well. It was a great sight really. "Our very own orchestra," the blue eyed wizard announced to the inhabitants of the castle. "Our ghosts have a wonderful band and our very own Charms Master decided to contribute to the magical evening with special magic of his own. So, those of you who can or want to are allowed to dance afterwards to their heart's content. Just remember, curfew applies. Now, enjoy your evening!"
The students clapped and cheered at the news. All in all it was a different dinner than most days, nothing big or extravagant, just different enough to break the monotony, make the students and even most of the professors smile. Harry caught the eye of one particular professor. He had spoken with Ailill and after much cajoling from Harry's part the Elf had promised to turn a blind eye for the evening, in order to allow The Dark Elf to do what he had in mind, and the young Elf had plans for the blond wizard that had caught his soul.
Still, he enjoyed his evening among his peers. He ate to his heart's content, preferring chocolate over food. He joked with all the lovey dovey couples around him, mainly Hermione and Ron and Neville with Ginny. Enelya kept asking him questions about the various desserts as chocolate was not something one encountered in abundance in Eilinel. He even paid a visit to the Slytherin table and Nariel who had looked a bit uncomfortable with all the giggling and the hushed whispers of the girls that were eying him. Harry had had to remind him yet again that he was not supposed to curse any of his admirers. Thankfully, Nariel was in good enough spirits and Harry was able to return to his own House table soon enough.
… Much later with Lucius…
The privacy of his rooms was a relief to Lucius. He had dreaded the dinner but was surprised by how uneventful it turned out to be. Sure, Sybil Trelawney had gotten drunk, but he suspected that she had already been drunk before joining them for dinner, so she did not count. There was a bit of drama among the students about who was asking who to dance and the like but it went without a hitch or curses flying, which was what he had originally feared. Not that the blond wizard's attention had been on the food or the orchestra or actually caring about the brats he was teaching. What had caught his attention most of the night was a certain dark haired, green eyed Elf. Harry was looking great lately, more confident, happy, he was almost glowing whenever the DADA professor managed to glance at the teen. Lucius had never been much for sentimentality. Valentine's Day had never been something special to him; he had certainly never gifted Narcissa with anything on that day, not even for the sake of giving, not even before he was married to her he had given any gifts, certainly never to any of his lovers. But now he was finding himself wanting to take part in this celebration, give Harry a little something, something private. He had actually found something rather fitting to gift, besides the flowers he already had under a stasis charm in his room, waiting for him to make his mind up and give them to the Dark Elf.
Slowly Lucius undressed, having every intension to just slip under his covers, perhaps read a bit, before going to sleep. He was ready for bed when a knock on his door made him change his plans and head towards the door. He was already imagining cursing whoever it was, barring it being Draco or Severus, or maybe just Draco…
"Lucius, hey." Harry Potter stood at his doorstep, looking nervous and a bit sheepish. "Mind if I step in?"
… but never Harry, he could hardly curse this person. Lucius moved aside, none verbally admitting the teen inside. Said teen perked up just at the ease with which the blond professor allowed him in, without a struggle. This notable change in their relationship was a welcome one. Lucius was happy he had stopped fighting the teen's advances, seeing that he enjoyed them. It helped that Harry was no longer as pushy as he used to be. The youth's mentor had been quite helpful there. Still, having the teen so close made him focus on the matter at hand, Harry was there, meaning it was the perfect opportunity to act his plans out.
The Dark Elf moved further into the room, feeling apprehensive. His eyes had taken in the sight of Lucius ready for bed and he had immediately decided to focus on something else entirely. The wonderful bouquet of flowers. It had about a dozen long stemmed roses in pink, red and white colours, delphiniums in purple that added a bit of contrast, asters added in purples and pink, a green silken tie to bind them together.
"Those are yours," Lucius told him, making the teen look up. "I meant to give them to you…" he moved and with precise movements he had the stasis charm cancelled and had the bouquet in his arms. "Happy Valentine's Day," he told Harry, who smiled and took the flowers.
"Thank you Lucius," Harry replied, clutching the flowers to him and smelling their scents.
"That's not all," the silver eyed wizard added after a while.
Harry noticed that he was now much closer than he was a moment ago. The older man then Summoned something from further inside his rooms and a velvet pouch came their way and landed in Lucius' waiting palm.
"For me?" Harry asked.
"It's symbolic really, to go with the flowers," Lucius added and Harry accepted the second gift.
It turned out to be a wrist watch, made of dragon hide and white gold. It told not only the time but mirrored the constellations as well. It was a beautiful piece of jewellery and Harry was left staring at it.
"Do you like it?" the blond asked,
"Love it!" Harry whispered. He smiled at the older man and then kissed him. It was a passionate kiss, full of excitement and nervousness. It also ended rather abruptly when the teen pulled back a bit, looking rather embarrassed. "I forgot!" he said and offered a small rectangular box Lucius' way. "I did not forget you though I never really expected you to give me anything…" he shrugged. "I saw it and I wanted you to have it. I noticed that you must have had your ears pierced at some point."
Lucius blinked. "That was ages ago…" he trailed off. A life time nearly. It had been an act of rebellion when he was sixteen. He had kept that single earring till he got married; glamour's had helped him hide it from his parents. It was so long ago and the wizard felt nostalgic about it. He did not think the present inappropriate, far from it. And he was oddly pleased that Harry had been paying him close enough attention to see something like a mended scar from an earring. He carefully pried the box open. It was a silver box, not red and gaudy and he liked that. Inside, on a black piece of velvet lay a single earring. It was small, discreet, made of white gold and a single black diamond and shaped like a small star.
"It's got protective runes on it," Harry continued. "And it's a star because your name means 'light' and stars are suns that make light and…"
Lucius kissed Harry, both to thank him and to make the teen stop babbling however adorable the latest action was. He really wanted to show Harry just how glad he was that his gifts had been accepted (a form of insecurity that had never gripped him in the past) and upon laying eyes on the Elf, he had wanted so much to get closer to him, the object of his fascination and complete attention throughout dinner. It was not the first time they were kissing, not even the first time they were doing it in his rooms, but this time it felt a bit more special, more intimate having Harry here, in his territory.
The gifts were soon discarded, forgotten for those moments while the two wizards were all wrapped up in each other. Hands joined as well, touching eagerly, bringing the two men closer. The green eyed youth pulled back a bit to breathe, opening eyes that had fallen shut and noticing that Lucius was staring at him, his silver eyes dark and intense, two words that described Lucius perfectly, from his toned body to the feel his magic gave, he had a presence that Harry had struggled to ignore and failed. Lips touched again, mouths warm and feelings stronger, impressions and senses heightened. Lucius could now tell that Harry tasted of chocolate and the teen could feel the slight taste of liqueur from the blond.
"Missed this… missed you," the oldest of the two admitted quietly, a moment of weakness but he would not take it back after he saw just how moved Harry was just from hearing it. Their bodies acted on their own accord, bringing them closer together, mouths joined again as they tasted and teased each other, moaning at the warmth, the closeness.
The kissing was quickly getting out of hand. Harry realized this when he found himself touching skin, Lucius' skin. The adult's upper clothing had been pushed up and the teen's hands were all over the soft skin. Lucius own hands, the palms so much bigger that the Dark Elf's were firmly on Harry's butt, squeezing the globes and pushing the teen closer. Green eyes widened and Harry firmly pushed the blond wizard back, breaking the make out session to the regret of them both.
"We can't…" Harry gasped when silver eyes turned on him. "I… I'm not supposed to…"
Lucius kissed him again, sloppily this time, on the Elf's jaw line, then on his chin. He nuzzled the cheek and then he started kissing Harry again. The raven haired Elf had to struggle to get his bearings. Lucius got his as well, when the teen pushed a bit harder. He realized the position the two of them were in, on his couch, himself half undressed and Harry's clothe very close to being torn off. He put some more distance between them.
"I… apologize," he gasped out, still catching his breath. "My mind was not…"
"Mine either," Harry cut him off. "That's how much I liked it," he added. "But I can't do this, lose control…" his green eyes travelled all over Lucius' form, the colour darkening with want and warmth for the blond wizard. Lucius deflated, some of the irritation he had been feeling at having the teen push him back melted. He pulled Harry closer again, this time landing a kiss on the teen's nose, chaste and brief.
"I understand," Lucius told Harry. "I regret, not getting carried away, but not being able to truly show you that I actually care."
"I know you care," the teen admitted. He might have not been sure in the beginning but at least tonight he knew that Lucius lusted for him, cared enough to conform with the custom of giving flowers and gifts, and he had cared enough to allow Harry to push him away. Knowing that the blond actually cared made Harry's self control, the little he had, waver. And Lucius noticed.
"You had better leave," he told the younger male. "It is getting late…"
"Can I stay?"
The request left Harry's lips before he could stop it. It was softly whispered, already the youth waiting for rejection. Lucius could not turn him away, not when he was so warm and soft and cared for him. It was a novel feeling, wanting the teen around. He blamed it on the fact that they had not been around each other much lately, on his acceptance of their bond and the acceptance that eventually they would mate. But also because he was tired of being alone. He knew that in the past he would not have cared enough to cater to the whims of his partner, but he cared about Harry and his happiness. It was the closest form of love Lucius had felt and the feeling was growing stronger the longer he was around the teen, since that eventful summer he had stumbled into that Muggle bedroom and laid eyes on the Dark Elf.
"Please do," Lucius told Harry, enjoying the looked of disbelief and subsequent joy that spread on Harry's face at his acceptance. He stood and then made a motion for the teen to follow him. "I will lend you clothes to sleep in, there\s no need to tempt each other," Lucius told the Elf, recalling well the first time they had shared a bed, when he had been a mess after the Dark Lord's wrath. That night they both fell asleep, Lucius curled around the teen and slept peacefully till morning.
…Hogwarts, Dumbledore's Room…
Albus Dumbledore was a heavy sleeper. No one expected of him but it was the truth. When he was younger Gellert used to tease him that Dragons could fight next to him and he would never know. He just shrugged. To him it was natural; since he was a child sleep came easily to him. Even during two wars nothing disturbed him in his sleep. It had been embarrassing when his fellow fighters needed him in the middle of the night and he was asleep dead to world. This was the reason why he had placed spells around his bed to alert him when something or someone was approaching.
The wards flared as Moody's head appeared in the Floo and prodded the spells that made the old Headmaster wake.
The ex-Auror snorted at the star filled sleepwear. "Ridiculous Albus, even for you." He shook his head. "Get dressed," the retired Auror said gruffly, privately enjoying his chance at ordering Albus around for once. "Something's happened."
Dumbledore was awake instantly at that.
When he was dressed he Floo-ed to Grimmauld and found most of the Order in a state of unrest. Arthur and Molly Weasley, Moody, Elphias Doge, Dedalus Diggle, Minerva McGonagall, Emmeline Vance, Hagrid, Hestia Jones and Kingsley Shacklebolt were already there, looking haggard. Most of them looked dishevelled; they had gotten out of bed in the middle of the night like he had. Looking at the far end of the room, he saw Severus Snape was also present but trying to blend in with the shadows; he was willing to bet the man had not yet gone to sleep. Albus filed the thought away; he could scold Severus into caring more about his health later.
"Dumbledore's here," Arthur said to the anxious crowd.
"Thank Merlin!" Molly grasped her chest over her heart.
"Everyone just calm down," Albus advised. "Now, what happened? Alastor?"
"Remus and Nymphadora were on a date, in Venice. It was not safe for them here in Britain," Arthur Weasley said. "But the community in Venice was attacked by Death Eaters two hours ago."
"Dear Merlin," Albus whispered, his shoulders dropping a bit.
Alastor sagged as well. "Kingsley Shacklebolt just learned of the attack from the Carabiniere of the magical community there. They had many casualties, a few kids too. Among them was Tonks. She was transferred to St. Mungo's as soon as Kingsley identified her."
"Remus?" Albus asked, almost fearing the worst.
"His body was neither among the dead nor the injured so we assume that he was captured during the attack," Kingsley said tiredly.
Albus rubbed his temples. This was not good.
"First tell me about Tonks. Have her parents been notified?" Dumbledore asked.
"I-I was the one to tell them," Molly admitted, her eyes red.
The leader of the Order ignored the witch, hoping her panic and grief did not affect the others or himself.
"Severus?" the Headmaster asked his quiet spy.
"I was not summoned for this, have not for two weeks now. I have contacted Lucius and he is currently trying to fish out information from the Lestrange brothers," the man replied. "He can't appear overeager or they'll notice something so he will have to wait till morning."
Dumbledore sighed. He had a strong urge to sulk, but he did not want to appear weak or tired in front of the members of the Order that were also his friends.
"You should all return home…" Albus finally told them.
"We could not possibly…"
"Molly," Arthur restrained his wife. "It is late."
"But the poor girl," Molly sighed, ready to cry.
"I will immediately go to St. Mungo's," Dumbledore announced. He turned to McGonagall. The witch looked strong but he knew it pained her that two of her former students were in this situation. "Minerva, could you take over my duties for tomorrow? I will need to hold Fudge off and Andromeda and Ted will need help."
"Of course Albus," the cat Animagus agreed.
End of chapter
A/N: This chapter just did not want to be completed for some reason, hence the long, long time it took for me to update.