Hey guys! I'm back! I really am truly sorry that I haven't updated in forever. Would you believe that I missed over two months of school and discovered that I had six ulcers in my esophagus? Because that actually did happen. That, plus the end of senior year and graduation, led to me being a little crazy trying to get everything done. But I'm here now!

Special thanks this chapter to Emily, Breanna, and Holly whose conversation with me on the LeakyCon Portland Rockstar Facebook group page thing inspired me to get this chapter done. I love you guys, and I can't wait to meet you in person this week! (More about LeakyCon at the end of the chapter.)

But you guys don't want to listen to me ramble, do you? No. I know what you want: the chapter. So, without further ado, here's chapter six.

Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. The original idea has also been used by a great many people, my main inspiration being Little Miss Mione's The Rebellion.

Chapter Six

Dear Remus,

Writing to give you a heads up that we will be accepting Dumbledore's offer of a meeting. I had another one of my dreams, and it's led me to believe that there's something at Hogwarts that we need to find. I'll tell you more when we next have a chance to speak face-to-face.

Sorry this is so short. Things are a little hectic here at the moment.

See you soon,

-H

The letter was written on enchanted parchment of Zoe and Eve's creation. Only the person for whom the letter was intended would be able to read it. To anyone else, it would simply look like a boring form letter from a vaguely named company. It was, in Harry's opinion, quite ingenious, really. He still kept his messages a little nebulous, and he never signed his name, an initial or a nickname was the most he'd do. Yeah, he was probably just paranoid, but with the world he was a part of, being paranoid was a life-saving skill.

After attaching his, admittedly short, letter to the leg of the nondescript brown barn owl that had been sitting on the desk, Harry sat back to think. The owl flew silently out the window, off to London and the intended recipient.

The situation currently facing the Rebels was not only serious, but delicate. The life that Harry had created for himself had been painstakingly, intricately woven through years of hard work. It was the life he had chosen for himself, and he knew he had to admit, at least inwardly, that he was a little scared of what might happen to that life after this job with Dumbledore and the Order.

Much as he didn't like him, Harry acknowledged the fact that Dumbledore had expertly crafted a position for himself. He'd researched the man years ago, wanting to know more about the famous wizard who had so much influence over Wizarding Britain. Secrets had been revealed, albeit reluctantly, by some who had known Albus Dumbledore, the child. From what he could gather about Grindelwald, Arianna, and Dumbledore's life and actions after the death of his sister, Harry concluded that Dumbledore was more aware than most of just what Lord Acton had meant when he said "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Dumbledore had seen this flaw in himself and had adjusted his life accordingly. For all the manipulating he seemed to do, it was clear, even to Harry, that Dumbledore truly believed he was acting "for the Greater Good."

That was not to say that Harry at all respected the man or his actions. Regardless of his likely intent to keep himself from gaining power, Dumbledore had gained it. He wasn't outright and obvious with his implementation of said power. He was a shadow king, a puppet master. Dumbledore tended to nudge the domino until it fell before sitting back and watching to see what the result of his latest Rube Goldberg would be. In some cases, that result could leave a little boy so alone in the world that he felt forced to strike out on his own to find a new family. And, for that alone, Harry could never forgive the man.

Harry knew that, given the chance, Dumbledore would attempt to bring Harry back under his wing. As leader of the Rebels, Harry's skills were infamous, and Dumbledore would take one look at him and want to have him securely in his pocket. He would try using guilt, promising him the world, preying on the psychological scars that Harry's childhood had left him with, almost anything to draw Harry in and obtain himself a new pawn to use in the deadly game of chess he was attempting to play against Voldemort. But Harry could see where that path would lead, and he wanted no part in it.

The Rebels' interaction with the Order would have to be done with the highest level of delicacy and precision. Luckily, they were masters of infiltration. They would have to use every skill they had, every trick in their playbook to gain the Order's trust without putting themselves at Dumbledore's mercy. Harry was sure that the man knew something about Voldemort's horcruxes. He was too shrewd, too knowledgeable to not know. He might even know something that the Rebels didn't. The chance was slim, but they couldn't afford to risk it. Any information, any at all, was too valuable in this war. And so, Harry concluded, he would have to put his acting skills to the test.

Lily and James were prominent members of the Order. They trusted Dumbledore above anyone else, Remus had once told him, even their closest friends. His authority over them was incredible, and Harry knew for a fact that they would be put into play the moment he walked through the door. He looked too much like James to not be recognized, at least eventually, as the lost Potter boy. There were hundreds ways he could disguise himself, each less reliable than the previous one. The truth of his identity would come out, whether he liked it or not, so wasn't it better to reveal it in his own way, at his own will?

He could play the prodigal son, returning home at last to make amends with his only family. A hint of shyness toward his parents here, a hesitant smile there, and they'd eat up his act. A small smirk spread across Harry's face at the thought. This could be fun.

Yes, I know, very filler-y. But there was some development, right? A bit at least? Maybe? Sort of? Well, now that I've got more free time, I'll try to work on getting this story done. Well…next week, that is. Which brings me to…

LEAKYCON. Yes, I am going to be at LeakyCon 2013 in Portland later this week. If any of you are going, be sure to PM me or make a note of that in your review. I'll be at the Fanfic meetup on Thursday, so even if you don't message me, feel free to come up and talk to me then. Seriously, please do. It would make my life if I met someone in real life who actually reads this story.

If all goes according to plan, a new chapter should be up sometime in July.

~Female Marauder~

6/24/13