A/N: Okay so I said that this was the last chapter, but sadly, it isn't. It was becoming too large and right now I can't write that much at once and you guys would start to think that I abandoned you again. So this is the second last chapter of the story. The REAL last chapter will come sometime in a week or two.
You probably have forgotten the storyline, so here is a short recap.
Harry, Andromeda, Sirius and Tonks have destroyed all the horcruxes and Harry was hit with the AK in the graveyard after the Triwizard tournament, essentially making Voldemort mortal and angry. Harry and Tonks are seeing each other and Susan, who is like a sister to Harry, has found some peace after her parents' murderer was killed. In the last chapter, Andromeda and Harry went to the Death Eaters' headquarters and took down quite a few upper-level Death Eaters along with Nagini.
35. The Plan
"Three? Are you sure?"
"Yeah. The alignment is perfect."
"If you say so."
"Do it when I say….. NOW!"
After three seconds, there was a reaction.
"Well, fuck me sideways." Someone said with disbelief on their voice.
For the first time in many years, Lord Voldemort felt genuinely afraid. It has been so long that Voldemort actually felt fear, that the emotion felt alien to him.
Deciding quickly, he prepared to disapparate from the place, but he found that someone placed an anti-apparation charm on the place. He almost laughed at the stupidity. Powering through these fields was as easy as breathing for Lord Voldemort.
Once again, he was shocked when he found that he couldn't. Who on earth was there to match Lord Voldemort's power? For a fleet second, he panicked. But when he saw the figure slowly approaching through the smoke, his jaws hardened and he barely resisted the urge to scream.
"Come to die, Albus?"
It all began a few weeks back when Tonks and Harry went to visit Tonks' old friend Edward Becker. He had been vague in their last meeting and with a curious mind they went to visit the address his card showed. From the outside, the place was a small three-storied building. In fact, if you weren't looking for it, you wouldn't even notice it. Tonks later explained that it was some sort of disguising charm people used on places that weren't for the public.
They were greeted by a dark, sturdy man who called up Edward over the intercom. Minutes later, the Edward was in front of them, smiling broadly, although a bit surprised.
"Didn't expect you guys to be here so soon, to be honest." He greeted them with slaps on their backs. Harry was now almost as tall as Edward.
"Well Harry starts school again in a week, so we decided to visit your little secret hideout." Tonks replied with a punch to Edward's arm.
"Brilliant." Edward grinned and then turned towards the dark man behind them, who was watching with an air of being politely uninterested. "Guys, this is Tyler. Tyler, this is Tonks and this is Harry."
They nodded and smiled at each other and Edward led them upstairs.
"So what is this place? It looks like it has an internal expansion charm." Tonks said with a thoughtful look around. Edward looked sheepish.
"Um… yeah, actually there is. Look we don't have a licence yet but we are working on it, really." He said with a touch of panic and then turned to Tyler and whispered "She's an Auror."
Tonks burst into a laugh at the look on Tyler's face and it took a few seconds for her to regain her composure. "Seriously, the looks on both of your face are part of the reason I chose to be an Auror. But don't worry, I'm not responsible for these things and I don't think I'm gonna tell on you guys, as long as you tell me what secrets do you keep here." she said excitedly. Tyler exhaled audibly and Edward grinned broadly, looking relaxed.
"Fair enough, I guess." Edward said. "And it's not like we are doing something illegal, it's just we are doing some… er… additional research to our business and that needs a bit more space. So we applied for the permission to use the Extension charm inside our house, but we also knew that it would take months to get it done and we weren't… erm… eager to show our research materials to ministry workers who could… ah… get judgemental or misuse our ideas, you know."
Harry's interest piqued up at this as he knew that Edward wasn't the sort of person who would beat around the bush without a good reason.
"Okay, but what do you do Ed? And what are these researches that you seem so protective of?" Tonks asked.
"Maybe we should take this conversation upstairs?" Tyler suggested. Nodding, Edward led them up to the second level, where they were introduced to another guy named Chester and a girl named Megan. Passing a corridor with four doors, they reached the end, where a fifth door was marked "Ed's and Ward's".
"Megan likes to mark our rooms with her supposedly creative names. Just between us, her talents do not extend much to god puns." Edward winked at them and led them inside. Tyler looked a bit hesitant to enter but Edward pushed him inside and then closed the door. The room had surprisingly low amounts of furniture. A bed, a table, a chair and a wardrobe- these were the contents of the entire room that was quite large. No doubt another demonstration of the extension charm resulted in this. They all sat on the bed except Tyler, who took the chair. The table was overflowing with papers. Edward fiddled with his finger for a while.
"Umm… I'm not sure where to start." He confessed.
"Starting from the beginning is always a good option." Tonks offered. Edward nodded and took a deep breath.
"My NEWTs results were pretty average. It was kinda disheartening at first when I heard that you aced your NEWTs, and I guess I was sort of ashamed to talk to you, so I didn't really want to contact with you. Hestia did well, but we were going out at the time, so I couldn't really avoid her, could I. sorry for that by the way. I know it was stupid of me." He paused to see Tonks' reaction. She smiled at him.
"It's alright. I should have contacted you first, but Auror corps took a lot of my time. Anyways, continue."
"Okay. So I went to the ministry to see if there is any job that I would like. I found that it is really hard for muggleborns to get a good job, and even harder, if that muggleborns has bad results in their NEWTs. That was when I broke things off with Hestia. I knew she could and wants to go on and get a high-paying job at the ministry, but she pretended. For my sake, that she enjoys staying back home more. I couldn't let that happen. I was sorry that I had to leave her, seeing that she was one of my best friends for like six years, but maybe it wasn't supposed to be. Or maybe it will work again sometime later.
"So I sat idle for a couple of months and finished up almost all my savings, not knowing what to do. One day, I was just sitting at the Leaky Cauldron and I met Tyler here. I got to know that he is also a muggleborn, but he didn't bother to finish his OWLs. He felt out of place at Hogwarts and joined the muggle army. He served there for ten years and then retired at quite a young age. He suggested me to join the army too, but I wasn't the army sort of person. But then I thought that I could do something that would help the muggle army. So he invited me over to his apartment where we thought of a few options and then we came up with a great idea."
"Actually," Tyler interrupted at this point, "it was you who came up with the idea. Stop being so modest."
Edward flushed a bit, but continued nonetheless. "Fine. So I came up with the very simple idea that we could use magic to improve the bullets and guns. A bullet that penetrates almost everything, including concrete walls or a gun that has double the range of a normal gun- our ideas were quite big. But then we realized the problem with all these. If suddenly all the guns started penetrating walls, these guns will surely end up in the hands of terrorists and that would cause a global nightmare. Also, others would try to recreate the mechanism, and someone will eventually stumble upon magic, and the statue of secrecy will be broken and we would be put in the darkest cells of Azkaban. Tyler thought a pretty good solution of this, though.
"We wouldn't produce these things in bulk amount. Only a few, selected group of the military, who are trustworthy and wouldn't ask too many questions would be offered to buy this. Once we demonstrate with the gun, it will be a hard thing to resist. Tyler knew some men like these and within a month, the first batch of 15 guns were sold at 5000 galleons each. Our hard work paid off, but we realized that we can't make a living with this."
"Why not?" Harry asked. "You made quite a bit of money in your first time."
"True, but we didn't want to give such powerful weapons to a lot of people, and moreover, it would catch the eyes of the ministry. So we just delivered another batch of 25 weapons at 15000 galleons each, and we kinda closed the business. But we told that group that if they needed something strictly for themselves, they could contact us. It was a big money maker, after all."
"Uh, why the sudden jump from 5000 to 15000?" Tonks asked curiously.
"I knew you would ask that." Edward laughed. "We did some additional modifications to the new batch and the weapons were big sniper rifles, which is a bit tough to work. To be honest, the amount of work we had to do wasn't much. I would be happy if they paid 100 galleons each. But Tyler knew the price for these weapons, and we did make a good profit.
"Anyways, then we took a break for a couple of months and enjoyed our profit. After the break, we sat together and thought of a good business prospect. Since we seemed to have flourished in the muggle world with magic, we decided to go down that road. This time, though, we wanted to do it properly. We went to the ministry and found out that charming muggle objects in a harmless way isn't illegal as long as muggles don't discover magic.
"We decided to move to common appliances like the TV, stereo, washing machines, ovens, and in some cases, computers. We formed a contact with a few medium sized companies that produce these things. Our plan was to improve these appliances just a bit in certain sections. Like in one company we provided computers that never get overheated. In another company, we provided computers that are faster. That way, we didn't have a single brand of computers that are perfect in every way and gets everyone suspicious.
"We hired Chester and Megan at this point because we couldn't handle all the massive orders that kept coming. Currently we have ten more people working upstairs, but only five of us live here. The others' job is to deliver the already existing orders. The five of us spend most of the time in researching new improvements that could be done to muggle appliances. And now we are making more money that we need to run our lives, we are taking the luxury to experiment on things that we won't sell. It is our favourite pastime, and to be honest, lately we are doing more experiment than actual work. There is only so much improvement you can make to a certain device without arising suspicion."
"That's quite cool, but what if someone gets suspicious accidentally? Like you said, what if someone opened the computer and wanted to understand why it never overheats?" Harry asked.
"Yeah, we thought of that too. We place a small charm in all of our devices, so if anyone attempts to open up the thing, they will remember something more important and go away. Kind of a muggle-repellent charm, but instead of a place, it is focused on a certain action, that is, opening the case of the computer."
There was a few moments' silence when they took it all in. Finally it was Tonks who spoke.
"I always knew you would never settle for an ordinary job in the ministry. I'm proud of you mate." She went and hugged Edward tightly. Tyler and Harry smiled at the two old friends.
After some small chat, where Edward asked bits of what Tonks' job was like, which suddenly seemed boring to her, they were led upstairs by Edward. The last level was just like the level below, a corridor with four doors and another at the end. They were given a short tour of the room, where two people were working on a various array of muggle appliances, one person seemed to be roaming from room to room, checking on the products. Harry guessed he was some sort of supervisor. At last, they went to the last room at the end of the corridor, where a blonde girl was holding a guitar with a book opened in front of her.
"How many times did I tell you that you can't learn guitar from a book?" Tyler laughed at the girl and she blew raspberry at him.
"You are growing old, Rachel." Edward smirked at the girl.
"Guys this is Rachel, the other member of our researching fivesome. Rachel, this is Tonks and this is Harry."
They said hello to each other and Harry noticed that Rachel's eyes were of different colour. Tonks later explained that is was an abnormality but not unheard of.
The room was huge. Maybe even larger than a football field, and Harry could feel the magic of the extension charm in his body. The room was packed with the strangest combination of things. From a large trampoline to a piano, a refrigerator to a complicated looking machine Harry didn't even know. This room looked like a warehouse, but unlike any Harry has ever seen. Every single object in the room seemed to be taken care of regularly and everything was organized in a strange, chaotic way. At one side, an enormous closed structure that looked like a closet, dominated the wall.
"This is our experiment room. Everything you see here has some speciality that makes them unable to be exposed to muggles, but amuses us. For instance, if you jump on that trampoline, you will be up in the air for a whole minute before landing again, which will feel like you have jumped quite high."
"I assume you won't tell how you did that?" Tonks asked, already heading towards the trampoline.
"Trade secret, my dear Tonks." Edward grinned. Tonks hopped on the trampoline and jumped. To Harry, it seemed like she was rising very slowly, but Tonks' face showed that she was, apparently, not feeling the same. She had an ecstatic look on her face and her hair was rapidly changing colours. The look of joy in her face made Harry smile wide. She was so beautiful.
"Did I forget to mention that Tonks is a metamorphmagus?" Edward looked apologetically at Tyler and Rachel, both of whom had a surprised looked on their face.
"So what's on that huge closet thingy?" Harry asked, as Tonks finally began to descend. It was a surprise that she hadn't shouted even once. Maybe the Auror corps did take her bubbliness down by a bit.
"Those are Tyler and my favourites. That place is full of firearms. You don't keep them out at the open."
They approached the firearm store as Tonks jumped off the trampoline and fell arse first on the floor.
"Still clumsy?" Edward teased and Tonks slapped the back of his head.
The gun closet, as Harry called it in his head, was made with thick lead. Tyler opened the door and revealed a variety of weapons lying on different racks. Small pistols, rifles, snipers, magazines filled six of the seven racks on the right side and all of the left side. On the bottom right rack, there was a large, rectangular, black box.
Edward picked up a weapon from the upper rack.
"This rifle used to have some serious damage, but the accuracy was poor. You might have even heard of it, it is called an AK-47. We added some stability charm and an anti-recoil charm on it and it is now deadly accurate in the hands of the right person. Anyone wants to try it?"
Harry looked at Tonks, who looked unsure, and then said, "I'll try it."
The rifle was heavier than he expected, but it was not too heavy for him. He put the butt of the gun on his shoulder, as he had seen people do in television. Aligning the rear and front sight wasn't much of a trouble for him either.
"Shoot that target, Harry." Edward pointed at a circular target about 20 metres away. He aimed for bull's eye and pulled the trigger.
"Wow, that's pretty neat." Rachel commented, with an impressed look. Harry smiled awkwardly. the bull's eye was now painted with a little red dot.
"Give him the M40, Ed." Tyler said. Edward nodded and reached for a sniper rifle.
"This thing had an effective range of 900m, but we took the liberty to extend it a bit. It used to weight like 7kg, but we pulled that down too. Don't expect to hit the bull's eye with this on first try though. Sniper bullets' path can vary with the wind and humidity and a whole lot of other crap. It takes years of training to operate a sniper from long range. Though we corrected a bit of its accuracy, we couldn't perfect it because it takes an immense amount of magic to control the bullet once it is out of the barrel. You'll see the bullet's path and will have to concentrate on forcing the wind to either stay out of its path or counter the action of a wind from the other direction. I guess powerful wizards like Dumbledore or You-Know-Who can control them perfectly, but we can't. And anyway, it's not like any of them would ever use sniper rifles."
Everyone burst out laughing at the image of Dumbledore in his midnight blue robes and flowing beard, camping upon a hill with a sniper rifle. It was ridiculous.
"But since it is a closed room, you should be able to manage to hit within a metre of the target. Seems like you have a good hand." Rachel encouraged Harry.
Nodding, Harry put his eyes on the scope and found the new target. It was about eighty metres away. He carefully aimed at the bull's eye again.
"Remember, you will have to concentrate on the air in the room to stay out of the path." Edward called.
Holding his breath, Harry pulled the trigger and felt gentle recoil. But he concentrated on the bullet and mentally pushed away the wind from its path. With a barely audible thud, the bullet hit the bull's eye again.
"Hey that was easy." Harry complained and stopped at the incredulous look Edward, Tyler and Rachel were giving him. And it looked like that a something had gone through the path from Harry to the target- everything in the way and close looked like they have been blown off by a giant storm or something.
"What the fuck just happened?" Rachel demanded after a while and Tonks burst into laughter once again. Everyone turned at her.
"Oh my God that was precious!" she snorted and tried to control her laughter. Once she calmed down, Edward asked, "So what was the joke again?" he gave Harry a wary look.
"Okay cool down, it was nothing serious." Tonks said as she finally managed to be serious. "You told Harry that it was basically impossible to shoot the target at first sight because you need a lot of magic to compensate for the wind movement, right? So when you say something is impossible, Harry makes it his life's goal to do it, and what's a lot of magic to you is probably not that much to Harry, as he is quite strong, magically speaking. So he concentrated really hard and probably used what his idea of "a lot of magic" is and hence you get the storm that turned everything upside down. Do you understand the joke now?"
"Well, kind of." Rachel replied, still a shocked look on her face. And then she noticed something. "Holy shit, you're Harry Potter?"
"Yeah, sort of." Harry replied with a snort, but no one caught the humour.
"Right, forgot to mention that, too." Edward mumbled.
"Anything else you forgot Ed? Like these two are going out or something?" Rachel asked sarcastically.
"Umm… yeah, that too." Edward said sheepishly and Rachel looked like her brain was on an information overload.
"Oh god, and here I thought I was going to have a boring day." She shook her head.
"Can we talk for a second Edward?" Tyler asked pointedly, and they excused themselves to a bit further away and put on a privacy charm.
"So how did you guys meet? At school?" Rachel asked Tonks and Harry.
"Yeah, and our families knew each other. How did you end up with Edward and his friends?"
Rachel told them how they put an advertisement in the Daily Prophet, but Harry wasn't listening. He looked at the two men talking inside the privacy dome. Tyler seemed excited at something but Edward looked doubtful and a bit reluctant. After a few seconds, they cancelled the charm and came towards them.
"Harry can you do us a favour?" Edward asked him.
"More than one favour actually." Tyler added and Edward nodded.
"Yeah sure. What is it?"
"It is a part f our experiment. We found a way to do something, but couldn't make it work because none of us are magically that powerful, though it takes a fair bit of control over your magic, along with raw power, to make it work. If you agree, we will go over to a place where we can test them out. What do you say?"
Harry looked at Tonks and she gave him a look that said 'it's all up to you'. Looking at Edward he shrugged and said "No problem."
Edward and Tyler filled a bag with a few pistols and a strange rectangular device. He also packed another rifle, a few short tubes (he later came to know that they were called suppressors or silencers) and a small box. At last, Tyler pulled out the black box that was at the bottom rack. When he propped it up, the box was as tall as Rachel.
"Are you coming?"Tyler asked Rachel and she considered for a while.
"It beats trying to read a book and learn guitar, you know." Edward supplied. Rachel rolled her eyes and took the bag from Edward. Everyone held hands and disapparated.
They appeared at the edge of a dim, enclosed space. It looked like a few airline hangars joined together. The other end of the room (was it really a room?) was not visible from their position. Edward explained that they had access to this place as a favour from their first customers. They used this to do experiments with sniper rifles.
"But snipers are for later, first let's try something new I had on my mind for a long time." Tyler said with some excitement. He pulled out a sleek pistol from his bag and attached the strange rectangular object beside it. It had some kind of screen, looking exactly like what was behind it. It was some sort of camera, Harry decided.
"See this screen here? We call it a projectile screen. You can watch the bullet's path in this. Now it may seem pretty ordinary and useless, but that is not the case." Tyler paused and went to a table that was beside them. He removed the tablecloth and revealed a switchboard of some sort. He pressed a few switches and lights illuminated the place. Checking something over, he pressed another set of switches, and there was a slight vibration in the ground.
Rising from the ground was a steel wall that covered more than half of the space in front of them. Fortunately, the wall was quite low, barely taller than Harry's head, so they could still see the lights.
"What the fuck is that?" Tonks asked.
"Just a wall." Edward replied. "This experiment was totally Tyler's idea. You remember that how we had to concentrate on the wind to stay out of a bullet's path so that the bullet could go straight? Tyler theorized that the opposite could also be done if you had enough control. That means you can intentionally curve a bullet's path. Of course, we could bend up to a few degrees and then lost control, but Tyler thinks you could do more, and from what I saw, I agree with him.
"This screen will activate once you press your thumb here. At first this had to be done manually, but Megan and Rachel worked on it and now it kind of reads your mind. Concentrate on how much you want the bullet to bend, and this screen will show you the projected path of the bullet. It might feel a bit overwhelming at first, but you will get adjusted to it. Go on, put your finger here."
Harry did as he was told and after a second, he felt some strange connection in his head. He looked at the screen and it showed the wall straight ahead of him. He imagined bending the path by about ten degrees to the right, and the screen showed the path of the bent bullet like a video.
"I'll put up a target behind that wall. You try to shoot it down." Tyler pressed another button and they could see the edge of another target springing up over the wall. From his position, the bullet had to curve a fair 20 degrees to the left to go past the wall and then curve back to the target.
He aimed his pistol and imagined the path. The screen showed the path. When the screen predicted a bull's eye, he prepared himself. It was not that difficult. He had to use sufficiently good amount of magic to bend the bullet's path. He pulled the trigger and concentrated on the wind. The screen showed the bullet's current path. He forced the wind to bend the path as soon as the bullet crossed the wall, and to his joy, the bullet missed the bull's eye by three inches.
Tyler was almost hysterical and kept patting Harry over and over again. Tonks kissed him full on the mouth and Edward and Rachel just stood there in awe.
Harry repeated the same thing on a big rifle, except this time he hit the bull's eye on the first try. They all seemed happy and it wasn't until Edward coughed to get Tyler's attention when everyone fell quiet. Tyler nodded and Edward carefully opened the large box. Not surprisingly, it had another sniper rifle, but it was clear from the way Edward handled it that it wasn't your average sniper rifle. It was more than five feet long and had a tripod at the end of the barrel to keep it from toppling over.
"This is probably the best thing we have in our collection. This baby's name is CheyTac Intervention M-200. We call it Intervention for short. This is probably the most powerful rifle muggles have made and we made it even more powerful with a bit of magic. The original piece had a range of 2.5 kilometres and we made that five. The bullet of the intervention, which is custom made, can kill up to three people in a single shot, without magic. We didn't see the necessity to improve that, though. The only bad thing about this was its recoil. Rachel literally flew away the first time she shot it without any improvement to the recoil. It still has pretty hard recoil, but it is bearable. We couldn't negate it completely because that would damage the thing permanently. The trouble with this thing is that you need ten years worth of training to handle this thing and magic didn't help too much without damaging this masterpiece. So when Tyler first shot with it, he landed almost 15 metres off the mark and he is an ex-army."
"Hey, sniper training isn't given to everyone." Tyler said indignantly.
"So since you can bend bullets so easily, maybe you can hit closer. But if you hit this the first time, I will dance around naked in Three Broomsticks for an entire week." Edward added.
He didn't have to do that though. Harry missed the first and the second, but Hit home in the third try. Though he still had a lot left, he understood that without a very powerful core, wizards could lose their magic if they tried to hit the target with this.
"I like this thing. Maybe we can kill Voldemort off from a hill while he is having dinner, huh?" he joked, but the other three flinched at the name and Tonks didn't even laugh.
"Wait." Harry suddenly said. "Maybe…"
"That's all cool, but how do you shoot Voldemort when he is having dinner?" Sirius asked with a genuinely confused look.
"The dinner part was a joke, Padfoot." Harry rolled his eyes. "We can hide somewhere far, so that no one even sees us, and when Voldemort appears, I shoot."
"Sounds like a plan to me." Andromeda allowed, "But how would we know where he would be in any given time?"
Everyone fell silent at that. They lost their link to the Death Eater Headquarters after their last attack. Death Eaters suddenly appeared in Diagon Alley a few days later for retaliation. Fortunately, the ministry was ready, thanks to Amelia Bones, and the damage wasn't very big.
"What if we invite him?" Tonks suggested. Everyone looked at her.
"You mean like at dinner?" Sirius said with a smirk. Jennifer smacked his arm.
"No, like we ask him to meet somewhere and we don't turn up. Harry shoots him from a distance. End of story."
"How do you ask Voldemort to meet you somewhere? You don't meet him every day at work, do you?" Andromeda questioned her daughter with sarcasm.
"Ha ha. No, I don't meet him anywhere. It was just a suggestion."
"I have an idea." Jennifer said. "What if Harry is scheduled to be in public at a specific time? Surely Voldemort would want to take a shot at him." She suggested.
"I don't know, it sounds good, but what is the guarantee?" said Tonks. "I mean say we announce that Harry will buy his books tomorrow at Flourish and Botts, but Voldemort doesn't turn up because he thinks the ministry is too near. That would be a waste, wouldn't it?"
"We should do it in Hogsmeade." Harry said. "Here's what we do. I write an article on the Daily Prophet, calling Voldemort a coward little girl and stuff like that, demeaning him. One thing I have learnt about Voldemort over the years is this- hurting the guy's ego is pretty easy. He will rise to the bait. Then I announce that I will go to Hogsmeade on an awareness campaign about the importance of being brave and quick minded. I will request the Aurors and the ministry to stay out of this because unlike Voldemort, I don't want my security to be handled by others as I sit back and shake in fear. I'm pretty sure that will make him mad enough to get him on the place. What do you think?"
"I think that is a really good idea." Andromeda nodded in approval. "But what if he sends scouts to see if you have really turned up?"
"I can help with that." Tonks offered. "I can appear like Harry and the scouting Death Eater will think that it is really Harry."
"It is too dangerous, Dora." Harry protested.
"And I'm an Auror." She shot back.
"But…" Andromeda started, but Tonks but her off.
"It is the best option, mum. Someone else would have to take polyjuice and who knows what would happen if the hour runs out and they didn't have access to the bottle anymore? Besides, it is safer than you think because no Death Eater would attempt to kill me 'cause we all know Voldemort wants Harry for him. Okay, that sounded kind of wrong." She ended with a disturbed frown.
In the end, Harry and everyone else had to admit that this was probably the best idea.
"Okay, we will do it. This week?" Harry suggested and from the looks everyone was giving, he knew that just like him, no one really wanted to do this, but would have to do it anyway.
"Sounds good." Andromeda said with a constricted voice.
Involving Dumbledore in the plan was Andromeda's idea. Though she disliked the old man quite a lot, she wasn't a foolish person to let her personal grudge stand in the way of something that would improve their chances of succeeding the mission. Fighting Voldemort was more than fighting Voldemort. They had to fight his Death Eaters too, and some of them were almost as scary as Voldemort himself.
"I don't like to talk with Dumbledore at all." Harry said for the fifth time in an hour.
"Neither do I, but this is something we need to do. I wish Andromeda was here too." Sirius said a bit glumly. Andromeda decided that she and Albus shouldn't be kept in an enclosed room for long unless someone wanted to see some violence.
"What do we do if he doesn't want to help?" Tonks asked Sirius. He thought for a moment and then grinned.
"We do it without his help. It would be like throwing it on his face if we succeed."
They smiled at the thought, but no one failed to ponder over the words 'if we succeed'. Merlin knows that what would happen if they didn't.
The three of them paused in front of the stone gargoyle and Sirius fumbled in his pocket for the password.
"Where is that piece of…. Here it is. Um… cockroach cluster."
The gargoyle moved away, revealing the moving staircase that led to Dumbledore's office.
When they arrived, Dumbledore was apparently spending time with Fawkes. He looked pleased and surprised to see the three of them.
"Ah, Harry, Nymphadora and Sirius. What a pleasant surprise! I was under the impression that this meeting was between Andromeda and me."
"Don't call me Nymphadora professor." Tonks replied curtly. Dumbledore looked sheepish.
"My apologies. May I offer you some butterbeer?"
"I don't see why not." said Sirius. "Andromeda has some other business today, so we came instead."
Dumbledore nodded, but personally he knew that Andromeda didn't come because she didn't like him a little bit.
And she wasn't unjustified in her hate. She loved Harry like her own son and if Albus Dumbledore was honest, no one could be blamed more for Harry's miserable childhood more than he himself.
He was hailed as the greatest wizard of all time, and he once told a favourite student that being a greater wizard meant that his mistakes were correspondingly greater. But he didn't imagine that things were as bad as they really were. He knew that the muggles didn't like any of the Potters, but he expected that a helpless baby would at least evoke some sympathy in them, if not love. Arabella reported that Harry was unhappy, but the old squib neither knew, nor guessed that Harry was being abused by the Dursleys.
He could honestly say that he regretted every minute the boy had to spend in that hell, but he knew that no apology could make the relation between him and Harry as good as he wanted it to be. So he just learnt to live with the guilt and the hate and try to show his remorse whenever possible.
"So how may I serve you fine people today?" he asked politely, wondering why Andromeda and Harry decided to communicate with him all of a sudden.
"We want to finish Voldemort off." Harry was the one who replied first and the other two nodded in agreement.
To say Dumbledore was surprised would be an understatement. Not in a hundred years would he have guessed that.
"I beg your pardon?" he asked, just to be sure.
"You heard him right." Sirius answered. "We want to kill Voldemort, for good."
Dumbledore let out a heavy sigh.
"Killing Voldemort is not that simple-"
"We took care of his horcruxes already." Harry interrupted him and Dumbledore looked like he has seen a ghost. How on earth did they know about the horcruxes?
Sensing the inevitable question coming, Sirius answered it in advance.
"It doesn't matter how we knew it or how we destroyed them all, the point is, they are all gone and Voldemort is mortal again."
Dumbledore took a few moments to take it all in.
"Very well. I assume you had something in mind?"
"We are going to take him down with a muggle gun. But he is not going to stand still and let us shoot him, not even taking the other Death Eaters in account, and that is where we could use your help." Tonks explained.
Dumbledore sighed heavily. He didn't wish to bring such violence in the world, but he knew he must help them. And he also knew that their plan would not work.
"I wish I could be more enthusiastic to your plan, which is, I admit, quite brilliant. However, there is a major complication."
"What's that?" Sirius asked, sounding apprehensive.
"You see, when Lord Voldemort wanted to be immortal, he created the horcruxes. Even if you cast the killing curse at him, he would not really die. But that was not all. A wizard of Voldemort's power could not have gained such power without a sharp wit. He would never leave his physical body so vulnerable.
Voldemort's skin is protected against non-magical harm. You cannot just, for instance, take a kitchen knife and slit his throat. You may have the same effect with magic, if you were able to land a curse on his throat. He might experience a bit of pain, but the bullet will not even break his skin. It might slow him down and somebody has to use magic to kill him. I take it you already know about the prophecy?" he asked Harry who nodded.
"I wish I could say differently, but you are not prepared to fight Voldemort with magic. I don't think I am prepared to fight Tom myself right now."
With that, Dumbledore looked down towards the earth, the burden of a hundred and fifty years evident on his demeanour.
The other three people in the room looked lost too. For once, they thought they had an upper hand over Voldemort and then they found that they didn't. It seemed that Voldemort was not going anywhere for a while.
"Wait." Harry suddenly broke the silence. "You said I have to use magic on him, right?"
Dumbledore nodded, wondering what got Harry so excited.
There was a crazy gleam in his eyes as he spoke.
"Let's show him some magic, then."
A/N: Reviews are very much appreciated!