Title: Trust – Chapter One.
Author: Woodland Goddess.
Summary: Someone is betrayed. Positions are revealed. Two must go in to hiding during holidays. What shall happen?
Pairings: Snarry mainly. There'll probably be other relationships involved, but you'll find them out as you read. I don't like giving away my secrets.
Warnings: Oh, you know; the usual – Sex, language, violence, but not necessarily in that order. *grins* Oh, and it's compliant up to book six, except for the whole Dumbledore-thing. I've made a few changes to suit my story. You'll see what I mean as you read.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything publically recognisable, because the chances of me owning anything, from this series of books, are astronomical. So, Kudos to JK Rowling for such a wonderful creation. *raises wine glass in a toast to JK Rowling* Woman, don't worry, I don't want to claim your property – I'm just screwing with it, since you won't. *wide smile*
Author's Note: Dudes and Dudettes, some people might have been hoping for the return of Arranged But Unconditional...but I don't know when that's going to do a return show. You'll know when I know, though. So, let's carry on with the show that's currently running.
The sky was a peaceful thing tonight. The stars twinkled in the distance, a multitude of seeming fireflies hovering over the earth, surrounded by an inky black veil. There were sparse clouds, and the moon was plainly visibly above the distant horizon. It was half-full, and glowed ethereally with a light that seemed positively celestial in its beauty. In response to the beauty of the night sky, the weather was also calm. Only a gentle breeze made its way through the suburban village of Little Whinging, tenderly rustling the leaves of the trees, and the blades of the grass.
Little Whinging, while pleasant to look at, was nothing really remarkable. Oh, no, the only thing remarkable about Little Whinging was Number Four, Privet Drive. Looking at Number Four from the outside one would never associate the word 'remarkable' with the house, however. The house looked like every other house in Privet Drive. It was light brown in colour, had two floors and a garage. The front door had a silver knocker. The letter box was gleaming. The lawn was perfectly square and pristine, miniscule droplets of dew clinging to the grass, shimmering as the blades swayed in the breeze.
The Dursleys lived in Number Four and, though not many people were aware of the fact, so did their nephew, Harry James Potter. He was never mentioned in conversation, if the Dursleys could help it. Heaven help them if anybody knew they were affiliated with one of their lot. Perish the thought. If anyone knew that, the ground would have to rip open and swallow them whole. They could never live with the shame of acknowledging their lot in public. The Dursleys would, in fact, much prefer if the Prime Minister hitched up his trousers and kicked every single member of that lot out of their blessed England. Indeed, they believed they would be much better off without their sort running free like hooligans.
Harry, that freak boy, had come to live with them in nineteen-eighty-one, after Lily Evans Potter, Petunia's freak sister, and her freak husband had been killed by that deranged freak terrorist – Mouldy-Butt, or something of the like. But, really, what could one expect from one of their lot? Waving around those...those things could get someone killed, when the one holding it was being foolish – and the Dursleys were sure that they were all foolish in their freakish ways. Sod the lot of them, the Dursleys had always thought – though they had never voiced that opinion allowed.
But Harry Potter was far from being a freak. Oh, no, such a notion was positively ridiculous. Harry Potter was a wizard, and his seventeenth birthday was swiftly approaching. As soon as the clock struck midnight, he would be an adult in the Wizarding World. That would be a relief, because Lord Voldemort was still at large, still terrorizing the innocent people of Britain. Harry need to be able to use his wand at any moment he needed to, and the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery would no longer apply to him. Which was a lucky thing, because, being who he was, he was bound to get in to trouble at some stage.
Currently, however, Harry was lying on his bed, in the smallest bedroom of the house. The room was square and he had a bed, a wardrobe, and a small desk and chair in it. To anyone else it would seem pitiful. To Harry it was everything he needed to survive the nine weeks away from Hogwarts. Or, well, at least the basic necessities. The walls were bare. The window was between the bed and the desk. On the desk there sat an empty birdcage. Hedwig, his Snowy Owl, with white feathers and amber eyes, was off hunting somewhere. That was what he assumed, anyway.
Wearing an old pair of midnight blue pyjama bottoms and a faded white t-shirt, Harry turned over on to his side. A bang of soft raven hair fell in to his vivid emerald-green eyes, which were as round as saucers in the darkness. He tilted his head back slightly, and gazed out the window at the moon and stars. He often did this the night before his birthday. Physically, he was rather stunted, after years of mistreatment at the hands of the Dursleys. He would always be small for his age, but, thankfully, through Quidditch training, he had become lightly toned, which made up for his small stature in his eyes. At most, he was five feet, and four inches tall.
He inhaled slowly, and exhaled slowly, his chest rising and falling, only barely noticeable. He listened to the rest of the house as he watched the night sky. The house was quiet, much too quiet. At this point in time, he should have been able to hear Vernon Dursley snoring from down the hall. Harry was unnerved, though if anyone was watching him, they would not be able to tell just from looking at him. He shifted to get comfortable, sliding his hand discreetly beneath his pillow. He curled his fingers securely around his wand.
His gut was telling him something was wrong, and his gut was usually never the one to mislead him purposely. A creak sounded in the stillness of the house, loud and clear. Someone was on the staircase, and it was not a Dursley – he would have heard one of them moving towards the stairs minutes ago. It could be a Death Eater. But it could also be a member of the Order of the Phoenix. There was always a chance that they would have to move him at a moment's notice. You could never know with the war going on. However, it was better to be safe than sorry.
He shifted his head once more, tilting it downwards, shrouding it in shadow. He lowered his eyelids until they were almost closed, but not quite. He could just see through his eyelashes. He watched the door, slowing his breathing as though he were asleep. He heard soft footsteps coming from out in the hall. They had obviously reached the top of the stairs. They would be getting closer to his room now. He tightened his grip around his wand. This was it. Any moment now, whoever it was, they would come in.
Harry counted time as he waited. One...Two...Three...Four...Five... The door-knob rattled quietly, and turned. Harry braced himself. Harry drew his wand just as the door burst open. He shot a Stunning Spell towards the door, and rolled off the bed a split second later. One figure shrouded in black, and wearing a skull mask, was hit by Harry's spell, and crumpled instantly, but four more were there to take his place. They were definitely not Order members. Spells were fired haphazardly. Harry danced out of the way of some, and used a Shield Charm against the rest.
He knew that he only needed to keep them from getting to him. It would not be long until a member of the Order arrived to save the day. Alarms would surely have sounded in Dumbledore's office and at Headquarters by now. Harry thrust and flourished his wand, as he moved around the small room, casting spells quickly and efficiently. However, the enemies were equally as deft at magic and even more so, given their experience. One solitary Death Eater started making his way forward; nearing him with every step he took, even as he weaved spells.
Harry bit his lip in concentration, and called out "Flipendo!"
The Death Eater sidestepped the Knockback Jinx, and, shouting "fuck this," drew his fist back and slammed it in to Harry's jaw. Harry let out a cry of pain as his head jerked to the side so swiftly he was sent, sprawling, to the floor. Even as he fell he spat a Stinging Hex at his attacker. The Death Eater hissed, and sent a harsh kick in to Harry's abdomen. The air in Harry's lungs rushed out of him in a split second, and he curled in on himself automatically. One of the other's laughed, and stepped forward. He joined in straight away, his iron-toed boot slamming in to Harry's ribcage. Harry heard the snap of one of his ribs even as he bit his lip hard enough to draw blood. He refused to let out another sound of pain.
His grip on his wand grew vice-like. Once the Death Eaters paused to sneer down at him Harry took that moment to flick his wrist as he murmured "Incendio!" The nearest Death Eater's robes burst in to flames. He shrieked, and stumbled backwards. Two of his comrades worked on quenching the flames, while the other kicked Harry's wand away from him. He bent down and fisted a hand in Harry's t-shirt. The Death Eater jerked him up off the floor and held him high enough for his feet to dangle a foot above the ground...
From the outside, it appeared that the houses in Grimmauld Place, London, seemed to be numbered incorrectly. There was a number missing. Where it should have gone; eleven, twelve, thirteen; the houses went eleven, thirteen. There was no Number Twelve. Or, at least, that was what it seemed like to the Muggles – the non-magic folk. To wizards and witches alike – there would have been a house there. However, with a little wand-waving from Albus Dumbledore, the house was put under the Fidelius Charm, and became unplottable.
The house was there, but nobody could see it – except for those who had been given the location by Albus Dumbledore, himself. That group of people included the Order members, the Weasley brood, Hermione Granger, and Harry Potter. As it was, Harry Potter was the only person not present at the house, but the house was brimming with action regardless. Upstairs, Hermione and Ron and Ginny Weasley were attached to Extendable Ears, trying to eavesdrop on the Order meeting down below.
In the kitchen, the members of the Order were squashed around the table, while, in the background, Molly Weasley was working on snacks for everyone – mainly sandwiches and tea. At the head of the table was Albus Dumbledore, aged and regal in his maroon wizard robes. Severus Snape, wearing his usual black robes and scowl, was seated at the opposite end. Squashed along the sides were Arthur Weasley, Fred and George Weasley, Bill Weasley, Fleur Delacour, Remus Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks, Alastor Moody, Hestia Jones, Emmaline Vance, Dedalus Diggle, Minerva McGonagall, and Kingsley Shacklebolt.
Laid out on the table were rolls of maps and sheaves of parchment filled with notes. There was one map unrolled, and had shot glasses as paper weights at both ends. "There are four Werewolf packs in the United Kingdom that I am aware of," Remus said, glancing at the other members, before using his wand to tap four different locations across the United Kingdom. Red ink circled Northumberland National Park, the Cairngorms National Park, the Exmoor National Park, and the Snowdonia National Park. "They inhabit these four territories. Greyback's pack has claimed Cairngorms for themselves. Dalmazio Moretti and his pack have claimed Snowdonia. Bernadette Desmarais and her pack have claimed Exmoor. Aaron Clark's pack has claimed Northumberland. We are all aware of the nature of Greyback's pack; however, not many are aware of the other three. I propose that, after the next full moon, I should integrate myself in to one of these three packs, and see if I can persuade them to see that the Light side is more favourable than siding with Voldemort. Dumbledore, what are your thoughts on this course of action?"
Everyone at the table looked at Dumbledore, their leader, even Snape, who normally showed no interest in the proceedings of the meetings. Dumbledore fiddled idly with the end of his beard as he sat in contemplation for a moment. "It is a wise move, and I would have expected no less from you, Remus. If we can sway one pack to our direction, then peace talks between the other packs can begin. An Alliance could possibly be garnered from this movement." Dumbledore nodded, almost to himself, and continued, "Begin formulating your strategies, and consider various forms of persuasion. Five days after the full moon I expect you to have at least met with the Alpha of one of these packs." Dumbledore looked at Snape. "Have you any information for the Order, Severus?"
Snape's scowl deepened as attention was brought to him. "I have acquired some information, but without a date, it might as well be considered useless. The Dark Lord has set in motion, a plan to extract Harry Potter from Number Four, Privet Drive. I am not privy to the exact details of the plan, but, I am certain that it will involve the Dursleys in some shape or form. This plan could be employed tonight, tomorrow night, next week, a fortnight away, in a month's time. I have absolutely no idea when this plan might be set in to motion. We shall have to be extremely vigilant."
"Some spying he's done," Snape heard George mutter.
Snape sneered at him, causing the twit to shudder and try to make himself smaller under his gaze. "Contrary to popular belief, Mr Weasley, I do not live in the Dark Lord's pocket. I am not privy to every single thing that runs through that monstrosity's head. I am but another pawn on the chessboard of this war. If you think you could do a better job, be my guest. I will applaud you if you succeed." George remained silent. "Just as I suspected," Snape said, his silky voice laced with scorn, "another sheep parading around in Lion's clothing."
George blushed. Arthur glared. Remus gazed reproachfully at Snape. "You leave my boy alone, Severus Tobias Snape," Molly snapped, planting a platter of sandwiches on the table. "You have more experience than they do, that is all. My boys each have their own courage; they just need to find it. Courage doesn't come in absence of fear, as you well know. Now, how about a spot of tea for you, dear?" Molly asked, giving Snape an encouraging smile as she rested her hand on his shoulder.
Snape's mouth curled in to a derisive sneer as he scowled down at the hand on his shoulder. "No, thank you, Molly. I must be going shortly."
"Come on, now, Severus. Have one cup of tea with us. You never stay long enough for us to have a nice chat."
If anyone had been paying close enough attention to Snape's face, they would have noticed the faintest withdrawal of colour from his face at the notion of chatting with a Weasley. "No, thank you. I have several potions that require my immediate attention tonight."
"Ah, go on."
"Ahhh, go on."
"I said no," Snape said pointedly as he raised an eyebrow at her insistence.
"Ah, go on."
"I really must insist, Molly."
"Ah, go on. Go on. Go on. Go on. Go on. Go on. Go on. Go on. Go on. Go on. Go on. Go on. Go on." This litany went on for a number of seconds before Snape finally snapped.
"Merlin, alright, woman!"
"Splendid!" Molly went off to pour him a cup of tea. Snape glared at Molly's back as the other Order members began chuckling in amusement. Snape grumbled under his breath about conniving Gryffindors that were obsessed with tea, and reached for a ham, cheese and coleslaw sandwich. Fred and George grabbed two chicken sandwiches each, while the others each took one sandwich each, of varying kinds.
Dumbledore cleared his throat, "back to the topic at hand, gentleman and ladies." Everyone's attention returned to the elderly wizard, even as they ate in silence. "Severus, in light of your information, I would like you, and you, Remus, to go to Number Four – to check on Harry, just to be safe."
Snape sighed. "Very well." Snape rose elegantly from his chair, and inclined his head at Molly, who pouted at the knowledge that he was leaving before he could have tea. "Come along, wolf." Snape patted the side of his leg as if he were calling a dog to his side, and smirked wickedly as Remus bristled indignantly. As Remus rose from his chair the alarms went off, loud and shrill. Everyone stilled as it rang through the house, and then there was a flurry of movement. Snape and Remus ran out the kitchen door, closely followed by Arthur and Bill who were faster out of their chairs than the others.
Dumbledore called after them. "Be careful, my boys! I'll head to the Ministry!" But the four were already out the front door by the time his voice carried to them. The four of them disapparated in a swirl of robes, completely ignoring the shouts from three teenagers who were barrelling down the stairs...
To Be Continued.
Author's Note: Alright, so this is my first plunge back in to the hp fanfiction game. Be nice. Updates will be slow, I should warn you, now. But I really hope you enjoyed this first chapter. I hope people will leave some reviews for me to sink my teeth in to. *smiles*