Chapter 12: In the Wake of Dawn Part V
Dumbledore had a feeling that a storm was brewing. He could feel it in his left knee. Over his many years of teaching he knew that he would be getting a letter from a very angry parent. What his left knee didn't tell him was that an angry parent would be standing in his office with a look of rage that rivaled the angriest dragon.
"Professor Dumbledore," Lily started, she was trying to keep calm that much was obvious. "I have been notified that my child has been sorted in Slytherin House, and I want him moved immediately to another house. Perhaps Hufflepuff, would be a nice match for Harry."
"Mrs. Potter, I don't see why Harry should be moved," Dumbledore tactfully appealed. "He seemed to have been enjoying himself, and even made a few new friends from where I could see."
"Friends with the children of Death Eaters: the servants of He Who Must Not Be Named!" Lily looked frantic.
"Lily my dear," Dumbledore's tone softened, "we should not judge children for the deeds of their parents. If we did that then I would be giving your son detention for fear that he would be breaking school rules, and the Weasley twins would be getting away with every prank they pull. Give these children a chance to make up for the mistakes that aren't theirs to mend."
"I want him moved to a different house," said Lily through clenched teeth. Tears were beginning to form in her eyes.
"You know that I can not do that Mrs. Potter," Dumbledore used his authorative tone this time. "What I can promise you is that Harry will be perfectly safe. One of your oldest friends is his Head of House, he also has two of his friends looking out for him within the house, and Harry has several friends all across every house. He will be well looked after."
Lily stood still for a great many moments. When she looked up, everyone in the room could tell that she had surrendered. That was something hard to do for the overprotective mother.
"Professor, I need you to promise me that he will be alright," said Lily shakily.
"I can guarantee his safety while he is a student at Hogwarts. I can not, however, guarantee that trouble will not find him." Dumbledore said with twinkling eyes. Lily nodded her head and left the room. James and Severus lingered. It would seem that they had something to discuss with him. "What can I do for you boys?"
"How are you feeling, Albus?" James asked. He of course was tense. A somber feeling crept into Dumbledore's soul. He had hurt the Potter family more than he could ever have imagined.
"I am fine. The potions that Severus has been giving me these past five years have been doing wonders. I feel like my old, happy self." Dumbledore smiled remorsefully. James smiled weakly. He didn't appear to be any less comforted.
"I still trust you Albus, truly I do, and I hope that you can overcome the demons in your heart," James said and left. Severus still lingered though.
"Headmaster, I'll have a new batch of potions for you. Also, please don't encourage the Weasley's behavior. They are hard enough to deal with on their own. They don't need any prompting." Severus said very seriously. Dumbledore could only laugh. Dumbledore was never sure if his former student did it on purpose or not, but he always seemed to lighten his mood.
"Do not worry, my friend," Dumbledore chuckled at the scowl on Severus's face. "Should they cause any trouble, I will see to it myself."
With a nod, Severus too nodded. Alone in his office, Dumbledore took a moment of recollection. With a sigh, the old man walked over to where he knew his pensive and memory collection was. With a heavy heart, Dumbledore willed his fresh memory away from his mind and into a tiny flask. He would have to look on it later, as a reminder of what power can do to even someone such as he.
Needing that reminder from a harsher source, a harsher memory was in order for the weary man, and he delved into the swirling memory in the pensive. The memory from five years ago.
Dumbledore sat at his desk in deep thought. Like so many times before, Harry Potter was on his mind. He housed the soul of the only true threat to his life. He needed some way to capture the boy, some way to kill the child before he became too powerful to deal with. He would not have another Tom Riddle.
He had already had the Potters in the palm of his hands for some time. The only question was how to get to the boy without causing suspicion. He might have to use someone to do this. Sirius Black and Severus Snape came to mind. Neither of them could be truly trusted, but their usefulness lied within the fact that they were both close to the Potters and they were disposable. Severus would certainly be easier to get a hold of, considering he was a teacher. Dumbledore wrote out a note and had one of the house elves send it to Severus.
A class period after the note was sent Severus entered Dumbledore's office. The dour man looked as unkempt as usual, although if Lily had died Dumbledore was sure that the man's state would have been far worse.
"Severus, I have a very important task for you," seriousness dripped from Dumbledore's words, but the dark man before him showed no outward response. "I must ask you to bring the Potter family to Hogwarts. It is imperative that they come here."
"What should I tell them?" Severus asked.
"Tell them that I have news on Voldemort's location and that they are in danger. Hogwarts is the safest place for them at the moment."
Severus left the office with void eyes. If all went well, Harry would be dead and the blame would be put on Severus or Sirius, depending on how the evening should go. It was a win-win situation in Dumbledore's eyes. So when James came back with Severus alone, he was quite shocked.
"James, there is news that Voldemort has plans to attack Harry," Dumbledore went into his story. "Some of his most prominent followers were seen. They had been foolishly talking about their plans. Thankfully, Mrs. Figg happened to be in the pub they were at. It is important that Harry be hidden somewhere safe."
"Harry is with Sirius and Lily at one of his homes. Not even I know their location." James replied. Anger flared inside of Dumbledore. The reactions he got from both Severus and James told him that his anger showed on his face.
"James, where is your son? Sirius could easily kill him and your wife-"
"Sirius is my best friend! He would sooner harm himself than me or my family!" James pulled out his wand, and Severus followed suit. It would be two against one, but Dumbledore was confident that his former students would loose.
"Do not make me draw my wands boys," said Dumbledore, who's face was alight with fury and looked every bit the warrior he was. "You will die."
Severus and James stood their ground. Their eyes and hearts determined to show down with the Headmaster. "So be it," Dumbledore pulled out his wand and prepared to fire a spell that would end his former students.
"Albus!" a hauntingly familiar voice bellowed with a fury that matched Dumbledore's. It was a voice that plunged the head of the Dumbledore family's heart in frigid water. A man of similar build and likeness to Dumbledore stood in the doorway. The Headmaster faltered and lowered his wand.
"Aberforth!?" Dumbledore was shocked to say the least. He hadn't seen his brother since their sister's funeral; not in person at least. The two had always met in letters or through others, but never actually face to face. "What are you doing here?"
"Look at what you are doing, Albus," Aberforth was teeming with rage. "ruining lives all over again, I see! Was Ariana not enough!"
Dumbledore paled considerably and stumbled to his desk. The old man suddenly looked fragile and old, but that alone didn't make the two young men in the room lower their wands. Something very strange was going on with Albus Dumbledore. He almost seemed lost.
"Aberforth," the old man mumbled. "something is wrong…"
Neither James or Severus understood what Dumbledore was talking about, but Aberforth seemed to have known. He suddenly just waltz up to Dumbledore and looked him square in the eyes. Recognition dawned on the younger Dumbledore.
"One of you needs to brew up a Calming Draught. The other bring me a pensive." Aberforth demanded. Neither of the young men moved right away. "NOW!"
Severus immediately left to his potion stores. James scrambled around, not knowing where to look for and was scrambling around the room like a mad man.
"What was I doing?" said Dumbledore. "James, my boy, in the corner. The pensive is in the cabinet in the corner."
James opened the cabinet and was met with several vials filled with memories, but it was the pensive that James took out and brought to the Dumbledore men. Dumbledore pulled memories from his mind and whisked them away into the pensive. Severus came back and handed him the Calming Draught. Dumbledore drank it in one gulp.
"What is going on?" James asked.
"My brother is a Dumbledore," explained Aberforth. "Being a Dumbledore includes some unfortunate circumstances. One of them being prone to excessiveness."
"What Aberforth is trying to say," elaborated Dumbledore, "is that too much of a good thing can become bad. I wanted peace, but became power hungry. It blinded me. You must understand…you have to see…I…"
James looked down on his old headmaster with pity. He knew that some wizarding families carried burdens and curses of old, but that didn't mean that he would suddenly forgive Dumbledore.
"The Dumbledore family are decedents of Merlin himself. It's very convoluted and it's hard to find exactly where the ties are made, but it is true." Aberforth started to explain when his brother seemed incapable of doing so. "As I'm sure you know, Merlin had a feud with his half sister Morgana. Well, at some point during the feud, Morgana put a curse on Merlin's blood line. His line was cursed with excessiveness. For example, our great-great-grandfather, Percival Dumbledore was a brilliant man, but he would sometimes get so absorbed in his research that he would do nothing else but research; to the point that he actually starved himself to death. In the case of my brother, he has issues with…everything!"
James looked back at Severus with a "Can you believe this?" look. Severus actually had a skeptical look on his face too. There was no way that either of the two men would believe such a ridiculous story.
"It's a hard thing to swallow, believe me, I know." Aberforth started. "But, I assure you that it is true. I swear on my life it's true. I know of a potion, created by our forefathers that represses Morgana's curse. In my fool of a brother's case, he needs it immediately, or he will be consumed by his flaws. Calming Drought will only work long enough for us to retrieve the recipies. We must get the potion brewed before the Drought wears off. He might be a fool, but he is still a Dumbledore. He will be difficult to deal with."
Dumbledore pulled himself from the pensive. He knew his crimes against the Potters would not be forgiven by his agreement to take the potion his forbearers created. He would be forgiven when he proved that he would protect Harry with every fiber of his being.
Dumbledore went back to his desk on shaky legs, and all but flopped into his chair. Deep in thought, Albus made a silent promise to himself. A promise to teach Harry all he needs to know to persevere through his most difficult task. With a deep breath, Albus Dumbledore prepared the beginning of the new term.