Chapter 1: Hope at the Hogshead
(This is right before Harry got his scar. When we learn about the prophecy from Trelawney.)
It was a week before Halloween as a tall and thin, with a long, silver beard that looks as though it could be tucked into his belt, and long, silver hair. He had twinkling blue eyes that, when angered, flash like a cold blue flame, that were shining behind half-moon spectacles.
Albus Dumbledore was walking up a large street in Godric's Hallow. He admired at all the decorations that were going up for Halloween; nothing like at Hogwarts of course, but he found them charming. The pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns littered across the square and the shop windows covered in paper spiders and bats were making everything look festive.
Dumbledore smiled slightly, though it was tinged with sadness. It had been several years since he had last visited this place. Godric's Hallow… it was the place where he grew up… the place where he lived with his family… this was the place where everything started for him. This was the place where he lost everything.
He passed a few Muggle kids who were running around looking at all the decorations with excited expressions on their faces.
One of them, a little girl looking no older than 7, stopped to look at him with curious eyes. She looked at him up and down before saying, "Mister? I really like your costume! But Halloween is still a week away."
Dumbledore smiled at the girl. "I know," he said happily, "But I couldn't wait to try out my costume." See, he was wearing a set of blue robes with stars and planets embroidered into them and a pointed hat made of the same material. On anyone else, these clothes would have been called odd. On him, they looked natural. And since it was nearly Halloween, he knew that he could pass it off without looking too suspicious.
The girl grinned before saying, "You look like Merlin with that beard and clothes! Are you going as Merlin?"
Dumbledore chuckled lightly, "Yes, you are a bright girl."
She smiled proudly before her older brother came over to her. "Sis? Come on. We have to go home now."
The girl sighed unhappily but nodded. She waved goodbye to Dumbledore before she went running off across the street.
"Sorry if she bothered you, sir," said the boy sounding exasperated, "She's really annoying sometimes."
Albus shrugged, "It was no problem. And she didn't seem annoying to me. She's curious like all children."
The boy rolled his eyes and said, "You can say that again. She follows me everywhere I go. She wants to know everything I'm doing, and she doesn't get the hint that I don't want her to."
Dumbledore frowned. "Maybe she just wants to be with you. Do you have any other brothers or sisters?" he asked.
Surprised at the question, the boy shook his head.
"Well that just makes her all the more precious," he said gravely. "I once knew a little boy who used to live in this village. He had a little brother and sister to look out for and… well… let's just say he did a terrible job doing it. As a brother, it's your job to make sure that your sister is happy… and that boy failed."
Dumbledore sighed sadly before continuing, "You're the only big brother that your sister's going to have. So say if something bad happens to her someday or she starts to travel down a dark road all alone, it's your job to help her through it all."
"What could happen?" the boy asked softly.
Dumbledore shrugged, "Anything can happen. Youth may think that they're invincible, but that's not true." He then bent down to look at the little boy eye to eye and said, "Don't make the same mistakes that that boy made. He ended up regretting his actions for the rest of his life."
The boy looked sympathetic as he began to think over what Dumbledore said.
"Take good care of her," Albus said as he gestured to the little girl who was waiting for her brother to hurry up. "She's the most precious thing you have right now. You never realize how important someone is to you… until you lose them."
The boy left without another word… but when he reached his sister, he took her hand and they began to walk home. They both turned back to wave to the old man in the wizard hat however.
Dumbledore waved back as he thought about his own words. Yes, that little boy would take good care of his sister. He didn't want him to suffer like he had gone through.
Dumbledore smiled sadly again before continuing on his way. It felt good to smile again, even if it was a bit forced. The entire Wizarding World has had precious little to laugh about these days. Tom Riddle, a.k.a Voldemort, was spreading like a plague over the entire countryside.
No one knew who to trust, or what to do, people dying left and right, things seemed to be getting worse by the day. However, just when things seemed at their lowest point, a little gleam of hope appeared on a cold, wet night at the Hog's Head inn.
A prophecy… about a child born to parents who have defied Voldemort three times… born at the end of July.
"A Firewhiskey, please, Aberforth," said a very old man with a long white beard and mustache. His eyes were twinkling merrily.
"So, what are you doing in Hogsmead, Albus?" asked the bartender, as he put down the very dirty glass he had been cleaning (with an equally dirty rag) and reached under the counter to grab a drink.
"A candidate for the Divination position. She chose your pub to host the interview," Dumbledore said, smiling as he glanced around at the dingy place.
"Did she now?" the bartender said, handing him his drink, which the old man took, in exchange for a few silver sickles.
"Thank you, Aberforth, and I hope it goes well, though I am not too wholehearted on the subject. Still, it is a subject and if she is a suitable teacher, she shall have the position. I believe you have a private room at the back?" he said, gazing over his half-moon spectacles at the bartender. The bartender nodded and waved with his rag towards the back.
Dumbledore walked pass the tables and the few customers, who all of them had their faces covered. He knocked on the door to the private room and went inside. Waiting for him was a very odd looking woman, odd mainly for the way she was dressed. She had beads and spangles galore around her neck and odd rings on her fingers. She was wearing odd clothes, a maroon colored dress that just hung on her as if it were too big, and glasses that magnified her eyes to at least ten times their normal size, giving her a bug-like appearance. She had wispy hair and was drinking some of Ogden's Best Firewhisky as she smiled at Dumbeldore.
"Good evening, Sybilll Trelawney," greeted Dumbledore in a pleasant tone.
"Good evening, Professor Dumbledore," Trelawney said in a mystic tone.
"I have read your application and found it…interesting to say the least …which is why I am here, of course," he said, and his lips twitched as if to smile when he said interesting. "I will have to ask you a few questions before I know if I can give you the job or not."
"I knew you would," Sybilll Trelawney said in her misty voice, putting emphasis on the word, 'knew.'
"Yes…well, let's get on with the interview. I am, sadly, a bit pushed for time these days," said Professor Dumbledore cheerfully, though there was an under layer of sorrow and quiet urgency in his voice. "It said on your application that you are the great-great-granddaughter of Cassandra Trelawney, am I right?"
"Yes, you are correct," said Miss Trelawney in her misty voice. "The Sight usually comes… err… every three generations. But it also comes with a great burden," she said. She sighed melodramatically. Professor Dumbledore's lips twitched again and had to fight to not to laugh.
"I am sure it is. Now, I need to ask if you can make me a prediction for me," Professor Dumbledore asked.
She lost her misty expression for a second as she gave him a sharp look. "The inner eye does not See upon command, Professor," her voice losing some of its mistiness for a brief second. "Though I can tell you this…there are dark and terrible times ahead for us all. Yes, danger and destruction and…ahhh, but do I dare say it… death?" she said, her voice even mistier.
Professor Albus Dumbledore didn't smile here, nor did his eyes twinkle like they normally did. There were hard times ahead for all. Horrible times that he and a few comrades were trying to stop, but not succeeding. However, he didn't need anyone to predict that for him.
He had just reminded himself, at that moment, that he had an interview to conduct, not plans to come up with. "Yes, I see. Well, can you tell me why you think you would be a good candidate for this position?" he asked.
"Yes, I shall. I was crystal gazing one day and saw standing in front of a group of young people. They were all giving me their undivided and captivated attention. I knew that I had Seen myself teaching. Who am I to ignore fate? If I Saw myself holding this position, then I surely shall. I applied at once. I am a Seer, and who better to teach Divination than the great-great-granddaughter of a Seer, no less," her voice lost some of its mistiness here and was infused with pride. "I shall be able to teach your students how crystal gaze, palm reading, and all the other noble art of the misunderstood and undervalued subject of Divination," she finished with a dramatic flourish.
Professor Dumbledore had heard enough. He was disinclined to continue divination, and there were no teachers he thought suitable for the job. Miss Trelawney's supposed sight of herself teaching sounded to him as a convenient excuse, one that he had heard from most of the other candidates. He was normally trusting, but he had had enough people try to trick him to get this position that he was a bit skeptical of it. It was a subject he disliked anyway.
"Thank you, Sybill Trelawney, but I must inform you, with regret, the Divination will no longer be taught at Hogwarts," he noticed that she had gone stiff, her eyes unfocused and her mouth slack. He had decided to leave her to herself. "Good day, Miss Trelawney. I am sorry things did not work out."
But as he turned around and headed towards the door, he heard something that would end up changing, not only his life, but the lives of everyone in the Wizarding World.
"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches…" a harsh voice suddenly said. He turned around quickly to look at Sybill Trelawney.
"Miss Trelawney?" he said, concerned.
Her eyes started to roll. "…Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies…" the harsh voice was issuing from Sybill Trelawney. She was, Dumbledore realized, making a real prediction. She was a true Seer, if not a very gifted one. Suddenly, there was a commotion outside. Trelawney was snapped out of her trance by the angry voices, though only half so. She seemed to be in some kind of daze, not truly aware and yet she knew what was going on.
"…YOUR lot aren't welcomed here…" one man said, and Dumbledore recognized this as the voice of his brother, Aberforth.
"Let go of me, you…" came another voice, colder and deeper. Dumbledore thought he recognized this one as well. He walked over and threw the door open.
"Snape!" he said astonished. Severus Snape stopped struggling and looked with fear at Dumbledore, who was practically giving off cold fury. Dumbledore knew he was being spied on by a known Death Eater, and Sybill Trelawney was just giving information crucial to both sides of the war. "Aberforth, would you escort our… guest… downstairs. Please hold him there for me. Thank you," Dumbledore said shortly. He turned on his heels and walked into the room, shutting the door behind him. Before the door had closed however, Snape had his last words.
"You filthy mudblood and muggle lover! I hope you…" just then, luckily, the door shut, so Dumbledore didn't hear what Snape hoped for him, though he had a pretty good idea what he was about to say.
Trelawney asked in a voice barely above a whisper, still not completely out of her trance, "Why was Severus Snape at the door? Was the trying to get tips on his own interview?"
But before Dumbledore could answer, she suddenly went back into a whole stupor to finish the prediction.
"And the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not…" she said in her now harsh tones. Dumbledore was painfully aware how crucial, and dangerous, this information was. That there was someone who had the power to defeat Voldemort.
"And either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives…" she as her eyes began to droop. Dumbledore felt pity for this boy. After all, it sounds like his life will either end by murder or become the killer. Neither was a very promising future for a young boy, just born.
"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies…" she said again, and suddenly the trance fully lifted and her head fell forward slightly. She coughed slightly before looking up. "I am sorry," she said, in her again misty voice, "I didn't hear what you just said."
Dumbledore stared at her for a moment before he said with a smile, "Welcome to the Hogwarts, professor."
She nodded, as if expecting it, "I knew it would be so."
Dumbledore merely nodded. "Yes, well, I am sorry, but I have to leave. I have some urgent business to attend to. Move into Hogwarts today. I am sure Minerva McGonagall will be happy to show you about," he smiled again. He knew she would safe at Hogwarts. Safe from Voldemort, who would certainly want to hear the prophecy completely. He knew that she didn't remember giving it; at least her actions said she didn't, but Voldemort wouldn't know that. Dumbledore left and she smiled as she sipped her whisky.
"Albus!" his brother called to him as he headed towards the door, so preoccupied by what he had heard he had quite forgotten about Snape. He turned around to look at this brother, who was frantic and worried. "I had him here, and as soon as I turned around… he was gone! He must have disapparated, I didn't think about that!"
Albus nodded distractedly and said, "It's okay," but he knew it wasn't. This made it all the more urgent that he speak to Lily and James Potter and to Frank and Alice Longbottom, both who had faced Voldemort three times and had a newborn son born at the end of July this year. They would need to go into hiding as soon as possible. Snape would surely tell Voldemort, who would most certainly go after them…they needed to be warned.
"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches…" he thought to himself. Well, here was a small hope in this terrible war. Now he had something on which to build a plan to destroy Voldemort for good. As sorry as he was for the boy, countless lives and people would depend upon him, even if unknowingly. He had found hope from Trelawney's mouth. He smiled, a truly happy smile with twinkling eyes, and thought, 'I have found hope for the world. I found hope at the Hogshead.'
*End of Flashback*
Dumbledore continued on his way until he came to a new and darker street. He wanted to come and check on Lily and James one more time before the Fidelius Charm was cast. He treaded on the dead leaves that littered the pavement until he finally arrived at a large, stone cottage where the Potter's lived. The curtains were still open and he could see them clearly.
Lily was sitting in a large armchair with the child on her lap. She appeared to have been reading to him from a large book while he sucked on something silvery. The child continued sucking happily on the cloth while his mother was saying words he could not hear, her long dark-red hair falling over her face.
It was truly a sweet and loving sight as Dumbledore opened the small gate, which creaked a little as he stepped onto the property.
(Hope you like this story so far! Please review and let me know if you want me to continue it!)
Preview: Dumbledore wants to borrow James's Invisibility Cloak. Well he's going to have a time getting it away from baby Harry.