Title: The Rebirth--Prologue
Author name: Irina
Author email: Irina4@ivillage.com
Category: drama, romance
Keywords: Ginny, destiny, angst, romance, drama
Spoilers: All four books
Summary: So why did Voldemort try to kill Harry? An ancient power has reawakened and the answers to all the mysteries lie with Ginny Weasley.
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Author's Notes: Thanks to Danette, my way-cool beta reader, and Gokuh4060 for listening to me think out loud and helping my imagination along quite a bit.
October 31, 1981
The wizarding world was dreaming.
It had been the same dream, night after night, for months on end. Some had tried to resist the nightly visions by staying awake, thinking they could avoid what some power greater than themselves wanted them to see, but such attempts were unsuccessful. They could no more run from the dreams than stop the sun from rising. Every night it was as though someone had slipped a Draught of Living Death into the drinks of every British wizard and witch. The next morning, memories of the dream melted away like ice in summer. No one could recall the night visions; they only remembered the awe and terror the dreams inspired.
Most believed that the Dark Lord was behind it.
Albus Dumbledore knew better.
He readied for bed that night, hoping that, for once, he would be able to remember in the morning. He knew it was vitally important to his cause, and to the life of at least one person of his acquaintance, that he be able to recall the dream he and every other wizard in Britain had shared each night for the past two months.
Just before he blew out the candle, a head appeared in the fireplace. It was Alastor Moody, one of Dumbledore's most-trusted allies and the most talented Auror at the Ministry.
"Any news?" Moody growled, his head engulfed by the flames.
"None yet," Dumbledore replied. "If it's going to happen, it will be tonight."
Dumbledore had read the signs. He was one of only two wizards in the world who were skilled enough to feel the radical shifts in and redistributions of power that had happened along the magical plane in the last few months, and he was certain he knew what was coming. He was certain Voldemort knew as well. This was Samhain, the night of nights. Tonight the world of men would be open to the Otherworld, where the gods and sorcerers of old watched and waited. If it was going to happen at all, it would be tonight.
Moody hesitated a moment. "Sleep well," he said, and vanished.
* * * * *
There was blackness, deep and opaque. The crowd huddled together, sharing the warmth of their bodies, hoping that the sheer number of them would be enough to deter any attack that might come out of the dark.
Suddenly, a wave of heat, almost intolerable in its intensity, washed over the crowd.
A tremendous ring of fire sprang to life around them. It burned as high as their eyes could see, the heat oppressive and unrelenting. The fierce red and gold of the flame was almost too bright to look at. It was not the sort of flame that burned cheerfully in the kitchen; it was a fire that consumed and destroyed, that would ravage the earth if not controlled. Some of the crowd began to weep, others began to scream and beg for help, forgiveness, and their lives. It had been like this every night, and at this point the dream usually ended.
But tonight the dream would be different. A column of silver light shot up from the earth in the center of the circle. It was pure energy, magical power of a strength beyond anything they had ever thought possible. Those who tried could almost make out the shape of a person inside the light, but no one could bear to look for more than a second or two. This silver energy made the fire seem no brighter than the glow of a candle. It threw all the people in the crowd into stark relief, illuminating half of their faces with an unforgiving power, leaving the other half in the absolute blackness.
The people covered their eyes. They dripped with sweat and many sobbed in terror. The spark of magic that they each carried within them was dwarfed immeasurably next to this unrelenting silver force. Most of them fell to their knees, overwhelmed by the light and heat and fire and power of the dream but, more so, in awe of the person obviously responsible for the dream: the figure bathed in silver light so bright that none could make out the person's identity.
Two silver arms stretched from the light, palms up. A sword rested on those palms in a gesture of submission, like a medieval knight, swearing fealty to his overlord. The blade of the sword was clear, made entirely of diamond. The handle was made of platinum and a platinum dragon wound around the base; one of its eyes shone red, the other green. Like the person in the column of power, the sword glowed silver, so bright that it was painful to look at. Dumbledore knew exactly what it was, and he almost collapsed in relief. It was tonight; he had not hoped in vain.
The heat and light were intolerable. Just when some thought they would go mad, the person inside the awesome column of pure silver power spoke. The voice was clear and cool, obviously free from the terror of the crowd.
"I have come to set the world on fire." It was a promise, a solemn oath sworn with one of the most powerful magical items ever created.
"Who are you?" some terrified person screamed.
The hands raised the sword to shoulder height, and the voice came again, majestic and stern, yet Dumbledore detected a hint of amusement.
"I am your servant. And your sovereign."
* * * * *
Molly Weasley woke with a start. She knew that she had had the dream again, but its details were sifting away as they always did. She tried to catch hold of them but, like all the nights before, she had no memory of what had happened. She only knew that the dream frightened her; she woke in a horrible state of awe and terror. Then a pang came, the reminder came of why she had woken in the first place.
"Arthur," she whispered, not wanting to wake the children, asleep in their rooms. Another wave of pain, and then she shook her husband's shoulder. "Arthur," she whispered more urgently. He rolled over and sleepily opened his eyes. "Arthur," she said more calmly, now that she had his attention, "Go downstairs and call the midwife. The baby's on the way."
* * * * *
Voldemort opened his eyes slowly. It had been so long since he had needed to sleep, but now these dreams came nightly and he was powerless to resist them. All around him, his Death Eaters slowly regained consciousness. Voldemort did not remember the dream, but he knew what it meant and the sense of urgency that the vision had given him remained. The Dark Lord knew what had to be done, and that it had to be done tonight. He picked up his wand and motioned for a few of his most loyal servants to accompany him.
"Where are we going, my lord?" asked Lucius Malfoy.
"Where do you think?" Voldemort replied. "To Godric's Hollow."
Malfoy raised an eyebrow.
"Tonight is the night," Voldemort said. "If it is ever going to happen, it will be tonight. And we have to be prepared. The future of our cause rests on the events of this night." He fixed his servant with a sharp, assessing look.
Lucius inclined his head. "I understand, my lord."
Voldemort smiled a ghastly smile. "I rather thought you would."
* * * *
After the figure surrounded by the silver power made its pledge, the dream melted away. Dumbledore slept soundly for a few hours more, until he was woken by someone pounding on his door. His mind, thanks to years of practice, was wide awake immediately. He pulled the door open and came face to face with Severus Snape. Dumbledore only had to take one look at his face to know what had happened.
"James and Lily," he said. It was not a question. Snape nodded mutely. "And young Harry?" Dumbledore asked quietly. Snape hesitated and Dumbledore felt something seize in his chest. Would it all have been for nothing?
"He's alive," Snape finally said, and Dumbledore let out the breath he had been holding. "The Death Eaters have planned no other attacks on children, sir," Snape continued, beginning to pace in agitation. "Harry Potter was the only target but we both know there should have been one more. I don't know where the Dark Lord is, but since he failed to kill Potter it stands to reason that he'll go after the other. He'd never leave both of them alive. There's still another boy in danger somewhere, and I have been completely unable to discover who."
Dumbledore shook his head. "He must be confident of the second child."
"I don't understand," Snape replied, but it was a lie. He understood perfectly. He just wanted to hear Dumbledore say it out loud.
Dumbledore failed to rise to the bait. He fixed Snape with a solemn, unblinking look.
Snape bowed his head for a moment, and then turned on his heel and left the tower without a word. Dumbledore sighed, and then went looking for his shoes. He had to make arrangements for young Harry Potter's safety. He could do that much, but then everything would be out of his hands for a time. Fate would take care of the children until they were old enough to come to Hogwarts. Dumbledore was tired, but he knew that the dream would not come again, and so later he could get a good night's sleep for the first time in months.
* * * * *