Disclaimer: I own nothing but the storyline. All rights belong to J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter's Army: A General's Lament
Harry Potter sat in his bedroom at Number Four, Privet Drive, wondering what his summer was going to bring. He was feeling quite low at the moment, as he was still trying to come to terms with the death of his Godfather: Sirius Black.
He knew that Sirius wouldn't want him to be miserable. He knew that. He just wished that he could get his heart to accept what his mind already knew. Sometimes if felt as if his body was made up of many parts, all at war with each other. He sighed and went back to his brooding. This, at least was something that he could do well. He had vast experience with it.
He thought of his friends, and it brought a brief, sad smile to his face. He had gotten many of them hurt in the last month. Hermione was still on potions from the experience. Ron was recovering slowly from his run in with the strange objects in the Department of Mysteries. Ginny, Luna and Neville had each suffered injuries there as well.
As he sat and thought something came to him. He could do something about the way things had worked out. He could become a better person. He could take more of an interest in his friends and what was happening to them. He could be a better student. He did, after all have to learn as much as he could so that he could fulfill the prophecy. There was no way he was going to let that toss pot win.
He decided then and there that he was going to be better this year. He was going to find a way to succeed, and woe be to the person that tried to stop him. He was going to be what he needed to be, and part of that was being a better leader. He had been placed in Gryffindor, and by Merlin, Gryffindor's led.
It was raining wherever it was that he found himself. He could hear the soft raindrops tapping on the roof of the building that he was in. He could see outside and it was dark, oh so dark. Once in a while the darkness would be broken by the flash of lightning.
He felt pain, pain such as he had seldom felt before. He did vaguely remember feeling much pain on a prior occasion, but this was a different pain. He looked down and saw long, pale fingers, almost white their complexion was so pallid. It surprised him for a moment.
Then he heard his voice hiss out. It surprised him that he was talking. He had no wish to talk. "Severus!" he hissed. The 's' sound stretched out, almost like a snake's hiss. He waited, wondering why he would be calling for his most hated instructor. Calling him a teacher was an insult to teachers everywhere.
Shortly thereafter, the greasy-haired git appeared in the doorway. "You summoned me, Master?"
"Yes Severus, I want you to supply dear Bellatrix with some information for me. I want you to tell her all who were in this student organization that Potter was teaching. I want them dead, Severus. I want every last one of them obliterated, wiped from the earth. I shall have my revenge upon Potter! He has hurt me, the likes of which I have never felt before! I want his army dead, and I want him to suffer as I have suffered."
"As you wish, my master," Snape whispered as he left the room.
Harry woke up with a short scream. His scar was throbbing. This wasn't just a nightmare then. He had touched Voldemort once more. What could he do about it? Did he dare to take off once more? Was it another trap? He didn't think that it was, it didn't feel like the last one.
One thing that Harry had come to realize was that he had some say in how the connection went now. He had hurt Voldemort in their last encounter. Voldemort certainly didn't like it in Harry's head. He smiled grimly at the thought. Now, if he could only figure out what to do about things.
He thought furiously for a few moments. He reached for his nightstand and pulled on his glasses. At least now he could see. He reached over the side of the tiny bed and pulled the much too large trousers up so that he could search through the pockets. At last he found what he was looking for. He pulled out an old looking galleon.
He would have to chance it. There was too much at risk. He might get another warning from the Ministry, but he didn't care. His friends were in trouble. He took his wand and touched the galleon, thinking on what he wanted to communicate.
Hermione Granger felt the Protean charm heat the galleon that she always kept with her. For the time being it was in a small pouch that she wore around her neck while she slept. She blinked back the sleep from her eyes as she reached into the pouch and pulled the galleon out.
Turning on her light she quickly read the script as it flowed around the outer edge of the coin. It was in Harry's untidy scrawl.
DA in danger. V planning attack on ALL members. Be on alert. Constant vigilance!
Hermione knew that all over the British Isles members of the D.A. were preparing themselves for an attack. She pulled out her wand and got out of bed. Wishing she knew more details she padded softly to her parents' room to let them know what was going on.
Harry sat in the dark, waiting for the sign that he knew was coming. He was as tense as he could possibly be. He hoped that the D.A. members would take his warning seriously. He wished that he could do more. If only there was some way that he could get them out. It came to him that he could do something, even if it was only a small something.
"Dobby," he called out softly. Immediately there was a loud 'crack' and the diminutive house elf was standing on the foot of Harry's bed.
"Harry Potter is calling for Dobby?" he asked, practically bouncing on the bed.
"Yes Dobby, I need your help. It's very important." Dobby was almost in tears from the joy of being asked by such a great wizard.
"Dobby is helping the great Harry Potter however he can," he said in a shrill voice.
"I need you to go to Professor Dumbledore. I need him to provide you with a piece of parchment with 'the secret' on it. He will know what I'm talking about. I need you to explain to him that Voldemort is planning an attack on all the students that were in Dumbledore's Army. Please Dobby, it's really important.
"Then, once he gives you the parchment, I want you to go to each of the students that were in the D.A. and help them to escape. Bring them and their families to the place that is written on the paper. Can you do that for me?"
"Yes, Harry Potter, Dobby is doing it right away!" the tiny elf shrieked. He was about to disappear when Harry stopped him.
"Dobby, there might be some bad men that will try to hurt the students or their families. Get the students out of there, but if you have to, defend yourself and the students. You are too important to get hurt. If you do, many will die tonight.
Dobby looked to be on the verge of tears again, but he somehow held it in. "Y…Yes Harry Potter, Dobby understands. Dobby will do as you say." With a sharp crack he was gone.
Albus Dumbledore liked to think that he was a wizard whose rather long and illustrious career had afforded him somewhat of a unique and useful viewpoint. Were he to be honest with himself, it was more that he was bloody used to being right, and therefore hated the idea of his being wrong.
The sad part was that he had been very, very wrong in how he had treated Harry Potter, and the boy had called him on it. It had left Dumbledore with a very sour taste in his mouth. He wasn't sure just what to do to correct the situation, either; and that fact bothered him more than he cared to admit.
Thus, it was a rare sight to be seen that night in his study. Albus Dumbledore sat in brooding contemplation, trying vainly to figure out what his next step was. Sadly, his prodigious mind kept wanting to slip back into its old habits of mystery and intrigue. Albus had to stomp on himself each and every time that happened, and he didn't much like it.
He had learned intrigue at his father's elbow, and it had always served him well up to this point. The problem was that when it came to Harry Potter, all the rules went out the proverbial window, tossed out like the offensive contents of a soiled chamber pot. He let out a long sigh, wondering for the hundred and sixty first time that night, just what he was to do.
It was into this bollixed up mess that Dobby appeared. Albus looked up, startled, to see the frantic little elf standing upon his desk. "Professor Dumby sir!" squeaked the diminutive figure, "Harry Potter is sending Dobby with urgent tidings!"
Dumbledore rose immediately. It didn't take a master legillimens (though he was, he thought with a smile) to see that this was actually quite serious. "What is wrong Dobby?" he asked kindly.
"Mr. Harry Potter is having another of his bad snake-man dreams! He is telling Dobby to being coming to you, Professor Dumby sir, and pleading with you to help! Harry Potter and Dumby's Army is under attack from the bad snake-man's dead men! Harry Potter is asking for you to give Dobby a piece of parchment to show people, and then to go and get people to the place on the parchment, sir!" He was bouncing up and down now, looking for all the world as if he wanted to beat himself with one of Dumbledore's many implements.
Albus assessed the situation immediately. One thing that he did possess was a very sharp mind, and he could tell that this was exactly as Dobby had described. With a flick of his wand he conjured one of the pieces of parchment that he kept locked away in a safe location for just such an emergency. He handed it to Dobby. "Read this and then get to your task, my little friend," he said quickly. Dobby did that, his eyes widening in surprise, and with a nod and a loud retort, he was gone.
Albus motioned to the phoenix that was observing this from his perch. Fawkes swooped down and in a flash they disappeared from his study only to reappear in a moment in the hospital wing. "Poppy!" Albus shouted. As the matronly nurse came running out of her quarters in the chamber next door he continued. "I need you to accompany me! There are going to be students and their families coming to headquarter who shall be in need of your services tonight. Voldemort's Death Eaters are on the move. Grab your things and we shall depart."
As he was waiting for Madam Pomfrey, he considered his next move carefully. With a casual flick of his wand a corporeal phoenix patronus shot from it and sped upstairs to alert the rest of the staff to the situation, and to prepare them for his next orders.
Madam Pomfrey had reappeared with her kit by now, and he had her grab onto one of Fawkes' tail feathers. With a burst of light and flame they disappeared, reappearing at Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place. The kitchen that they had arrived in appeared to be empty, though lights flared at their arrival.
He sent out another few patroni, to alert more order members. "Fawkes," he said to his phoenix, "take this message to Arthur at the Burrow. Get them out of there. They are sure to be at the top of Voldemort's list. Bring them here at once." As the phoenix disappeared he turned to Madam Pomfrey. "I shall return shortly, Poppy. Do what you can to help those that may arrive before I can get back." In a flash he had turned on the spot and disapparated.
Harry was pacing the floor. He had received confirmation messages from most of the D.A., though some had yet to respond. He was going spare waiting for something to happen. As he was pacing, he heard a soft crack from outside, signifying a wizard apparating in. Grabbing his wand, he vowed that if it was Death Eaters, he was going to make them pay for what they were about to attempt. Besides, he owed them for Sirius and his friends.
Looking out the window, he was somewhat surprised to see his headmaster striding purposefully towards the house. He turned and sprinted out of his bedroom and down the stairs, not caring if he woke anyone in the process. Let the Dursleys be cursed if they didn't like it. His friends, his army was in danger and he would be doubly damned if he was going to stand around idly and watch it happen.
He burst out the door and skidded to a halt in front of Dumbledore, his wand out and pointed at the aged professor. "What did you reveal to me the night that Sirius died?" he asked, sparks sputtering from his wand tip.
"Your destiny, as shown by the prophesy that Tom wants so badly," the headmaster replied smoothly. "And now that propriety and security are taken care of Harry, we need to be going. I see that you have your wand. Do you have your invisibility cloak?"
"Yeah, in my pocket," Harry muttered.
"Very good Harry, I want you to keep it on your person at all times from now on. You never know when you might have need. We are going to Headquarters. I believe that is where you wanted me to send people, is it not Harry?"
"Yeah," said Harry simply. Then, thinking that an explanation might be in order he continued. "It was the first place I could think of that was protected. They're going to be hurt and disoriented. They need a place that will be safe so that they can regroup and try to get on with things after this tragedy is over. I, well I figured that I could help with that…"
Dumbledore regarded him curiously. "I do believe that you are starting to grow up, Harry," he replied. "In any case, I agree with your assessment. We can also set up a secure floo network to the hospital wing. Poppy Pomfrey is already waiting at Headquarters to care for any injured that might show up. I think it would be prudent for the house owner to be there as well. Yes, Harry," he said upon seeing Harry's bewildered stare, "Sirius left it to you in his will."
"But I don't…"
"It doesn't matter what you or I might want, Harry. Neither of us wanted Sirius to die and leave you everything, yet it has happened. Part of growing up is recognizing the things that you cannot change, and accepting them. Consider that the first of the lessons that I shall share with you this year."
"What do you mean, Professor?"
"No time, Harry!" He grabbed Harry's arm and with a spin, they were gone. Harry felt as though he was being squeezed through a hose-pipe. It was not an altogether pleasant experience. It was impossible to draw a breath, and then, as quickly as it had come upon him, the experience was over and he was standing in the kitchen at Sirius' old house.
He turned around and found himself almost knocked from his feet by a bushy-haired self propelled missile. Hermione was there! She was going to be alright. Once he could pry himself from her grip he looked her over. She was dirty, scorch marks were on her top and he could make out grass stains on her pajama bottoms.
"What happened?" he asked.
"They appeared shortly after your message. Three Death Eaters, Harry. Daddy took out one with a shotgun, and I got into a duel with a couple of them. I think that they probably would have worn me down eventually, but I was holding a shield over my parents while trying to hex them. I was getting tired, and Daddy had to reload, when Dobby appeared. I got distracted and my shield weakened. A blasting hex knocked us off our feet and I think I hit my head on something, for the next thing that I knew I woke up here.
"Oh Harry," she sighed softly. You saved us with your message. Mummy and Daddy are here. Thank you," she whispered.
"Anything for you, Hermione. I… I don't think that I could stand it if anything happened to you. You're my best friend. I care about you so much. I… I'm pants at this, Hermione. I was so scared. Everyone that I care for, everyone that I love, they die…" His voice had slipped to a whisper.
Hermione lifted his head so that she could look him in the eye. "Harry, you're my best friend as well. I want you to know something Harry. It's important that you understand this." Harry nodded. "I love you very much Harry. I will be there for you throughout everything. I will be by your side to the end. I shall be your friend, your confidant, and your support. The only thing that I cannot be for you is a lover. I can be everything else that you need, but I cannot give you that. Believe me Harry, you will find the love that I cannot give you elsewhere. You're too good a person not to. Do you understand?"
"I think so Hermione. I know that you've had feelings for Ron for a long time now…"
"No, Harry, I do not have those types of feelings for Ron. Oh, I love him as well in my own way, much the way that I love you." She faltered for a moment. "How can I make you understand?" She leaned in to whisper in his ear. "Harry, it's nothing you've done. It's not about Ron. It's just that… well…"
"Whatever it is Hermione, you can tell me. I'm your best friend and nothing you have to say will change that."
"Very well, you need to know I suppose." She leaned back in to his ear. "Harry, I don't like boys that way… I prefer girls…"
Harry's eyebrows threatened to shoot off of his forehead. "Oh…" he said as he pulled her into a hug. This side of Hermione was going to take some getting used to.
Author's note: Well, there it is. I decided to try something completely different for this fic. Many of you will hate me for taking it in this direction, but I just felt it was necessary to stir things up a bit, and like it or not you have to admit that this does just that.