Set after Christmas so the DA has been formed, but before they were discovered. The Azkaban break out has not yet happened.
It all started on a rainy Tuesday afternoon. Albus Dumbledore was sitting in his office, doing his dreaded paperwork and thinking about the Order (how lucky they were that Arthur was still with them!), wishing that something interesting would happen. Of course, he couldn't express these desires out-loud – he had a reputation to uphold.
Sadly, this reputation was preventing him from strangling the idiot of a Minister Fudge, who was still refusing the believe Voldemort was back. Did Voldemort need to start a duel in the middle of the Ministry for them to believe? He hoped not – he knew he'd most likely be the one on the other end of the duel. Unless it was Harry. Actually, it probably would be Harry.
It nearly always was.
The poor boy had no luck at all.
Suddenly, there was a flash of light and a bang that (not so) unfortunately destroyed all of his paperwork. Oh dear.
The he remembered that the Ministry probably wouldn't take it-was-destroyed-in-a-bang-and-flash-of-light as an excuse – especially in this political climate.
There was a piece of paper sitting on his desk that hadn't been there before – despite all the other papers that had been.
Warily, he cast a variety of obscure enchantments but the paper seemed innocent. Maybe too innocent.
Cautiously he picked the parchment up, still muttering under his breath and waving his wand. Still nothing. Slowly he unfolded the paper, read its contents and promptly dropped it.
The parchment read:
Dear Albus Dumbledore (I couldn't be bothered to write all of your middle names)
I am writing to you from the future, as hard as that may be to believe. As proof of my identity, one Christmas I must buy you a pair of lovely woollen socks instead of a book. I would have loved to have sent more information, but I cannot transfer it all through the time-stream so this will have to do. This piece of writing was taken from the mass eulogy for those who died in the Second War. Read it either at Hogwarts or at the next meeting of the Order, but either way my younger self, and all members of the DA (excepting Miss Edgecombe) must be present for the text to reveal itself.
Dumbledore was in shock. Not that you could tell (he'd perfected the art of acting like he was never surprised long ago, it went with his reputation). A letter from the future. From a future Mr. Potter. Sounding like he was from a post-war environment. He was right! Harry had died and come back to life (he tried not to think how odd that sounded, even in his head.)
Now, to read it at Hogwarts or at the next Order meeting. He decided the next Order meeting. After all, if he read it at Hogwarts, the Ministry would undoubtedly intervene. That was something he wanted to avoid at all costs. (Umbridge knowing the future. Oh dear.)
Okay, at the next Order meeting. This was tomorrow. Now to get all members of the 'DA' to the meeting without being caught (good job the meeting was on a Saturday. Almost too convenient.) Did they really all have to come? Would it work without them? As he contemplated these thoughts the last line of the letter glowed red.
That was settled then. They definitely had to come.
Molly Weasley was so going to shout at him for this. He best bring earplugs when he told her.
The next morning he sent out a message to Harry to invite all members of the 'DA' to his office tonight – all apart from Miss Edgecombe. He told the Order that they were having some guests tonight but only told Sirius, Remus, Alastor, Molly and Arthur who they were. Molly needed a chance to get her shouting out of her system. He wouldn't tell her why they had to be there though - she'd find out with everyone else. She was only told it was of critical importance. Not that that had cooled her temper – thank God for the earplugs.
Not that she knew he was wearing them.
That probably would've enticed more screeching.
Later that afternoon the DA (minus Miss Edgecombe) were gathered in his office.
"Where's Marietta?" Cho Chang asked.
"Miss Chang, I have some very interesting news which is not allowed to be shared with her."
"Why not Sir?"
"I don't know but the informant who told me not to give her the information is very reliable. In fact, you all know him."
"Who is it Sir?" Several of them asked curiously (well the ones who weren't petrified of being in the presence of Albus Dumbledore. Mr. Creevy really shouldn't be breathing like that – his heart beat was far too fast.)
"It is a message from the future."
Hermione Granger looked far too excited, and liable to ask too many complicated questions. He was anticipating a headache but not until later in the evening, so he continued. "From the future Mr. Potter."
There was a sudden outbreak of noise.
It looked like that headache was approaching faster than he would like.
Twenty Minutes Later:
He had spent the last twenty minutes talking, the last fifteen of which answered Miss Granger's questions. Everyone else had been fully satisfied by the questions answered in the first five minutes. Miss Granger had expected a ten minute conversation on various theories of time travel and a further five minutes to discuss in what situations they could be properly applied.
He now had a headache.
How did Miss Granger learn this information?
He was sure he didn't learn it until he was at least seventeen.
Ten Minutes Later:
Getting everyone through the Floo had taken longer than he thought it would. He'd sent Harry, Miss Granger and the Weasley's through first (they knew where they were going) before explaining to the other members of the DA where they were going and what they might encounter – dark artefacts (it was a house belonging to the Blacks) or Sirius Black ('Isn't he a murderer?)
Arriving at Headquarters had been slightly less stressful. Molly Weasley had already known the children were going to be there and everyone else was less inclined to either shout (like Molly) or ask questions (like Miss Granger). They were still curious of course, but they restrained their questions at the look on his face.
Upon hearing the situation, there was a myriad of questions which he delegated to Miss Granger, under the guise of letting her help. It did sooth his headache – all he had to do was nod, smile and correct her on some small errors.
It was quite relaxing – more so than he was used to. The Ministry usually flooed him once every half hour to complain, or to ask him meaningless questions. It was very irritating. There was one good thing about the bad press he was getting – he had far more free time.
It was quite a nice change.
After about another ten minutes (a couple of last minute questions and everyone to go and grab a snack and go to the toilet. Albus wondered why – they weren't exactly reading a whole book) everyone settled in the Black dining room. It lived up to its name. Molly had not yet attacked this particular room with her cleaning supplies, but it was the only one to seat them all comfortably.
The windows (which showed a miserable day) were filthy, the curtains damp and moth-riddled. The long wooden table in the middle of the room was only protected from rotting by the numerous enchantments placed on it by its long deceased owners. Everyone settled into seats around the table and looked at him expectantly.
It was quite creepy.
"I shall read."
"…In Remembrance to"
Albus paused for a moment, reading the first name, the others gathered around the table holding their breaths anxiously.
There was not a dramatic gasp like of some American sit-com. All that happened was silence. Whilst many people gathered around the table (most of them) didn't particularly like Snape, none of them, not even Sirius, actually wanted him to die.
Severus showed no reaction to his own death, aside from a slight tightening in the lines around his eyes and mouth, going a shade paler, and a hidden look of determination, buried deep beneath near to impenetrable Occlumency shields.
There was a small moment of silence, in memory of the Potions Master.
"….A Slytherin who died like a Gryffindor…"
Now he showed visible distaste, acting as though he had not found out he was die at some point in the near future. How like Severus.
The others in the room were curious. Gryffindors were known for their bravery. What was it that Snape had done that was so brave? Especially considering that it was Snape – him being even slightly Gryffindor-like was a disaster waiting to happen.
"...without all the red and gold crap."
And now a noticeable sigh of relief that had the more competitive Gryffindors frowning slightly.
The word crap sounded odd coming from the mouth of Albus Dumbledore. Several people started and looked at him weirdly.
Albus Dumbledore didn't swear.
His brother would disagree with that statement.
(Then again, Aberforth would disagree with pretty much anything positive about his brother.)
"…In Remembrance to" He stopped again, reading the second name. After he had, he almost couldn't bear to read it aloud and was going to skip over it, had it not been for the lines to glow in a fiery red as he considered the thought.
There was silence for a moment. Then the room erupted in noise. George and Molly both launched themselves at Fred, followed seconds later by Arthur, Ron, Ginny, Lee Jordan, Angelina Johnson, Alicia Spinnet and Katie Bell. Bill sat in shock as did Harry and many other members of the DA. Fred was ... well, Fred. He couldn't die.
If Fred, one of the happiest and funniest people most of them there knew, it could happen to anyone. Realisation dawned in their eyes. It could be any one of them in this room next.
Albus hated to see some of the innocence leave their eyes.
Molly was still clutching her son like she would never let him go, like she was his lifeline, or maybe he was hers; solid proof that her son still lived and breathed.
She was whimpering quietly, "Not Freddie, not Freddie, please not Freddie."
"…Who fought bravely to the very end…."
He'd lived and died fighting. For some of them gathered there, that fact eased the pain – Fred was going to be gone, soon, and never come back.
Fred smiled slightly – he was going to go down fighting.
…And whose jokes will forever brighten his other half…
George ... who was shaking beside his twin, grasping his wrist tightly – too tightly. He would have bruises tomorrow.
Fred couldn't care less.
His brother had him for now.
…And will loyally await his soul mate and brother…
George was definitely alive.
They couldn't decide whether that was a relief or a curse – George doomed to be the only twin, lost without Fred or him also being dead, Molly losing two sons.
… With many jokes…
...he's got forever to think of them, right?
"You better have some good ones by the time you get up there," George joked weakly.
"I probably will." Fred smiled gently back.
…In Remembrance to Dobby…
"NO!" Harry didn't like that – the small elf had saved his life multiple times and was always so sweet and funny (if eccentric)
Some of the people in the room were confused – who was Dobby?
…Who was more free and full of love…
...than any elf, and most humans.
Ron added "And wore bloody brilliant socks."
Hermione hit him.
….In Remembrance to Remus J. Lupin….
"No," Sirius moaned.
Tonks had gone white and gripped his hand (which no one had noticed she was holding) tighter, refusing to let go of him for a second. Sirius leaned forwards and squeezed his shoulder for reassurance. Harry's eyes were wide.
...the last real Marauder...
That meant Sirius was dead. Harry whimpered. He'd lost them all. The same thought had occurred to Hermione who grabbed his hand but Sirius was too upset at his best friend's death to notice his own until Remus nudged him. He pointed at Harry. Sirius reviewed that last comment in his head before whipping his head towards his godson who was slumped in his seat, ice white.
The rest of the room was shocked – all of the pranksters were being killed off; Remus, Sirius and Fred. Sirius who at school had been the life and soul of the party (along with James). And now both of them dead before the age of forty.
The world was cruel.
…who was not just a wonderful father…
Remus choked on thin air. He'd had a child? He could guess who with... He hoped his child would have their mother.
….a incredible husband and brave hero…
At least he'd died like a hero – he'd be remembered as such.
...as well as a freakin' awesome werewolf.
He was actually being remembered positively as a werewolf – the curse he'd been burdened with his whole life? That had been the bane of his life – the cause for him being unable to get a job, even associate with 'normal' people, even out of the full moon?
Luna Lovegood frowned at the disbelieving look on his face. He might be a werewolf but that didn't make him any less of a person – he'd been a brilliant teacher, much better than Umbridge (not that that was difficult). Why couldn't the Ministry see that?
….In Remembrance to Nymphadora Tonks…
Remus tightened his hold on Tonk's hand. Their child was an orphan.
Sirius gripped on tighter to Harry.
…who died for 'the greater good'…
Albus flinched at that phrase.
...and would probably hex me for calling her Nymphadora.
Tonks smiled weakly. "They know me well."
Sirius attempted (badly) to lighten the mood, "Hardly. Everyone knows you hate that name. I wouldn't be surprised if even the Japanese called you Tonks."
…In Remembrance of Alastor 'Mad-Eye' Moody….
Tonks reacted more to this death than she had to her won, her reaction was equal to hearing that Remus was dead. She was as white as a ghost and looked near to fainting. Alastor did not look surprised, merely grim. "I was expecting this in the last war."
…whose motto 'constant vigilance' kept him alive…
Everyone in the room grinned at that – everyone except Snape who looked grimmer as more and more of the text was read aloud.
...and scared the crap out of some kids too.
The DA students smiled fondly, remembering occasions when they or their friends had reacted in an extravagant way to Moody's motto. Some of them blushed. Fred whispered something to George that made him smile weakly and persuaded his mother to hit him lightly on the arm.
…In Remembrance of Tom Marvelo Riddle a.k.a. Voldemort….
"WHAT!" was the general consensus. Voldemort was dead. Most of them had already worked that out but the confirmation was reassuring. The room was more shocked that Voldemort was being almost honoured in this remembrance speech much like the others. Who had written this? Harry Potter had sent this? Would they be on to the eulogies of the Death Eaters next?
…who was pretty cool and cute when he was younger…
Voldemort had been hot? Many in the room choked (particularly the younger generation had never known him outside of his snake-like, red-eyed appearance).
Several of the older generation winced (Minerva McGonagall had gone to school with him. He'd been in fourth year, her in seventh year).
…but who got his ass thoroughly kicked in the end
Everyone in the room cheered at that (Snape included, just very quietly).
Harry was just relieved – he'd spent every year since he'd known he was a wizard fighting. It would be good to have a relaxing year and not have to fight to survive. As Ron said, a nice quiet life.
…In Remembrance of Albus Dumbledore…
All of the room protested at that. Albus Dumbledore was dead?
Harry was in shock. Voldemort was dead. Dobby, Remus, Tonks, Fred, Sirius and Dumbledore were dead (not that the deaths of Moody and Snape weren't important.) Would it be his fate to survive this war only to find that everyone had died around him? Would Ron and Hermione's name be next on the list? Or would it be his own?
The room seemed to fit his dark, depressing thoughts.
…whose past and wisdom confused us…
Several people smirked weakly at this humour, all remembering instances where Dumbledore had absolutely baffled them with his random and yet perfectly suited sayings of wisdom, whether hundreds of years old, or invented by himself. Even Albus knew that his cryptic remarks were sometimes utterly unhelpful.
"To a well-organised mind, death is but the next great adventure," he whispered softly.
…whose seeming betrayal shocked us…
Albus Dumbledore? Betrayal? Again with the Death Eater eulogies.
Who had written this?
Albus started – it sounded like they'd found out about his deepest shames and fears, which he had hidden away from the world for so long. Aberforth looked bitterly at him. Wait a minute ... 'who's past and wisdom confused us'. Albus actually visibly paled. Several people looked at him in concern (assuming it was about his death). Hadn't he basically just said he wasn't afraid of dying?
…but actually who turned out to be an okay guy in the end...
Of course he was an alright guy in the end, he's Albus Dumbledore! (Dumbledore, who was using Occlumency, was slightly creeped out by the number of people who refused to drop one of his names; they all called him Albus-Dumbledore even inside their heads.)
...despite the whole 'almost killing Harry' thing.
Despite the what?
He'd tried to kill Harry? In what parallel world had this come from – Voldemort was hot, Snape was a hero and Dumbledore had tried to kill Harry. Such a strange world.
Sirius, who was already upset with Dumbledore's utter refusal to let him out of the house, growled menacingly. He'd tried to hurt Harry. His temper was already riled up with the betrayal statement – he'd seen what betrayal could do, seen how it could come from anyone at anytime. Although, if Dumbledore was a traitor they were all dead.
Aberforth just shook his head expectantly.
In Remembrance to Bellatrix Lestrange…
"Yes!" Neville, Harry, Hermione, Sirius, Tonks and the Weasley children exclaimed, most of them punching the air in jubilation. Bellatrix was dead! Sirius had refused to admit any sort of relation from about the age of fourteen. Tonks had grown up knowing her aunt was a murderer and a torturer. She didn't particularly care if her aunt died or not. (Actually she wanted her to die. She deserved it.)
… Because it's was awesome how Molly slapped her with that Avada Kedavra!
Most of the room choked at that and as one, all heads swivelled towards the blushing matriarch who insisted on everyone playing fair and thought that tickling charms could potentially be dangerous (well, around Fred and George they could). It even seemed to shake George out of his depression, his mouth gaping wide as he stared at his mother looking more like his twin than ever. In fact all of the Weasley children had the same disbelieving look on their face, and Arthur was looking at his wife like she was an alien from another planet.
She deserved everything she got and more.
No one disagreed with that.
Bellatrix Lestrange had definitely gotten what she deserved.
…In Remembrance of Colin Creevey…
Colin himself went pale. His friends leapt onto him quicker than Molly had jumped onto her son, tears already springing to their eyes. Colin was only fourteen. Thank goodness his brother had been too young to join the DA.
Ginny was one of the most upset – Colin had been one of the few people who had been nice to her after the fiasco of her first year. Despite the fact that she had gotten him petrified.
Harry groaned softly. He didn't know Colin that well. He decided he'd get to know the small, talkative, camera-loving boy better. He was so innocent.
…who we really didn't know too well…
Okay, some of the more logical people (and those who didn't know Mr Creevey at all) thought, so it probably wasn't someone in his year – year mates tended to know each other decently, especially in times of war (unless it was a Slytherin and what were the chances of a Slytherin writing this?).
…but took a lot of pictures and died fighting in a war…
Colin was proud but too distraught to show his pride. He knew he was going to die and he was only fourteen. At least he was going to go down fighting.
…so he must've done something good…
…besides stalking Harry.
Most people's lips twitched slightly – at Colin's involuntary blush. His cheeks were now a decent shade of red and darkening with every person that looked at him. By the time they started to red again he would've fitted in well at a circus.
…In Remembrance of Hedwig…
All traces of humour vacated the room at this line. Everyone spun towards Harry; they knew how much he loved his precious owl.
Harry was as white as a sheet and, for the first time since they'd started to read, tears welled up in the back of his eyes as his throat burned like he'd swallowed a pile of ashes. And that's what these would be in a few short years, nothing more than ashes. He looked despondently around the room. A good number of them would be dead – and he'd personally known all of them. Was it his fault? Was he really the weapon – Ginny had tried to convince him otherwise but this...
And Dumbledore still refused to look at him.
Hermione hugged him gently and Ron gave him a sympathetic look.
Lavender and Parvati made soft distressed noises in the backs of their throats.
...Harry actual first friend…
He had been eleven when he'd gotten his first friend?
The people who caught the connotations decided to dig deeper into Harry's home life.
...who lived and died soaring.
Harry smiled lightly at that – Hedwig had died in the air, the only way he'd have ever wanted her to go.
There was a moment of silence.
Everyone turned towards Dumbledore expectantly. "There isn't any more text, it's finished." He put the parchment back onto the dark wooden table. Upon it touching the surface it burst into flames and disintegrated into a small pile of ashes, much like Fawkes on his burning days.
This time the moment of silence was much longer.
"I need to get the students back to school before Professor Umbridge notices. The teachers need to get back too," Dumbledore said softly.
The entire room, everyone, had the same thought. 'Why couldn't Umbridge have died?'