31st October 1981, 7:30 PM
Sirius Black stared at the sprawled body of James Potter; his mind in a complete state of turmoil. There was an odd buzz ringing in his ears and he couldn't look away from the open, glassy, terrified eyes of James as he lay in the midst of the remains of the house.
The wand, clenched in his hand for protection, clattered on the cracked floor, as the fight he was armed with was sucked out of his body. His eyes moistened and lips trembled with grief as the reality of the nightmare he stumbled upon struck him deep within his heart scarring it forever.
"James," he whispered. He knelt down and took his friends hands into his own and cringed at the coldness of his skin. He tried to close those glassy eyes but every time he did, the eyelids just rolled back and dead eyes, filled with accusation, glared at him, blaming him for the horror that had engulfed Potter's Cottage.
Tears rolled down his cheeks and he clenched his jaws, trying to keep the river of anguish from breaking through the flimsy dam that was precariously holding it back.
There were questions to be asked, murders to be found but none of that mattered to Sirius right now. He was trapped in a nightmare straight out of his darkest corners of his heart.
The piercing cry of a baby sliced through the haze of grief blinding him and his eyes widened, reigniting with a little bit of hope. "Harry?!" he whispered incredulously. He scrambled to his feet and run up the stair, leaping over the broken sections, not caring if the creaking floor collapsed under him.
The cry came from the nursery room and hope filled his heart when he saw Harry rolling in the intact crib, bawling his eyes out.
Lily lay at the foot of the crib, her eyes too wide and glassy and filled with fear but Sirius purposely didn't look towards her. He knew he would break down if he did. Instead he narrowed his vision to the life that wasn't extinguished and took Harry into his arms. He carefully navigated around the rubble going back downstairs. "I'm here Harry, you don't have to be afraid now," he whispered in the baby's ear, stroking that thick hair that looked so much like James but felt like Lily's.
He was confronted by the huge form of Rubeus Hagrid at the front door before he could leave and he blinked in surprise.
"Sirius," Hagrid said sadly. "Is that…?"
"He's alive," Sirius breathed. "I can't believe it. What are you doing here Hagrid?"
"Dumbledore sent me," he said.
"He wants me ter take young Harry to 'im."
"What a minute. What? Dumbledore knows what's happened? How? When exactly did this happen?" he said angrily. How long had it been since Lily and James were murdered?!
Sirius was confused. He had simply come by to visit Lily and James like usual and instead found the house in a state of ruins. He had realized that the wards had failed and the Death Eaters had killed Lily and James. They had left Harry alive for some reasons he couldn't fathom given the contents of the prophecy and now Hagrid was here to collect Harry?
"What's going on Hagrid? Why are you here?" he repeated. Wild scenarios were running through his head and he was suddenly wondering how the Death Eaters had found the house in the first place. Potter's Cottage was protected by the unbreakable Fidelius charm and Peter was the secret keeper.
His mind froze and Hagrid's reply didn't register clearly in his mind.
Peter, he thought in horror.
"Peter," he whispered.
"Wha?" Hagrid asked confused. He had just said Dumbledore ordered him to take Harry to Privet Drive, to his surviving family but Sirius was mumbling something about Peter.
Sirius handed Harry over to Hagrid and the huge man took him with the gentleness of a feather. "Look at that scar!" he gasped.
"Here, take my bike," Sirius said strangely, handing over the keys to his precious 'Seriously Sirius' to Hagrid. "You'll get to Dumbledore faster. Tell Dumbledore see him later. There's something I have to do."
"Do what? You alright Sirius?"
Sirius didn't reply and disapparated.
Hagrid frowned and then shrugged. He tickled Harry's stomach making the baby giggle and smiled. "Well we have some time to kill," Hagrid said softly. "Dumbledore wants us to meet him at Privet Drive at twelve. Do you want to fly little man?"
The baby was more interested in playing with the humongous finger that was wrapped around him, keeping him warm against the biting cold that travelled through the ruins of his home.
31st October 1981, 9:00 PM
"Survived the killing curse? That's impossible."
"That's the news were getting and Dumbledore has already stepped in."
"We have to get him here right now!"
"We don't know where he is. Potter's Cottage is a mess and we found Lily and James Potter in the remains of the house. I contacted the Aurors and a team took them to Saint Mungos. Apparently Dumbledore decided to leave the clean up to the ministry but already took away the child."
Dmitri Chekov, Head of the Department of Mysteries sighed. This new development had thrown the entire ministry, no, the entire world of magic into a tizzy.
Voldemort, the Dark Lord, who was on the verge of a complete takeover of Magical Britain, was killed and the news said it was a one year old toddler that did it and thus sparing the magical world the rule of a vicious dictator whose ambition for power was limitless.
It boggled the mind. It was impossible. And they had no way to confirm it. They just had Albus Dumbledore's word.
"Sir, we must get the baby to our department as soon as possible," Rachel Sanders, the mind behind the curses division, said urgently. "Surviving a killing curse is no joke and I'm shocked the baby wasn't taken to Saint Mungos right away!"
"There's more to the story Sanders," Chekov said. Like the prophecy for instance, he thought grimly. The prophecy, that fate had allowed Dumbledore to listen who then transferred the memory into the prophecy orb. The rules forbid anyone except those the prophecy concerned to hear the words and Dumbledore refused to share what was told.
Chekov ground his teeth, his jaws tense making Sanders and Jeremy Drake to take a nervous step back.
"Have you spoken to the minister about this?" Sanders asked. She really wanted that baby on her table to examine.
"It's been an hour since the news broke out," Chekov snapped. "Dumbledore and Bagnold are currently in the middle of a press conference. I've scheduled a meeting with the Minister the minute the vultures are done with their questions."
"But Sir," Sanders began.
"Stop getting your knickers in such a twist, Sanders. He'll get here when he gets here. Now leave before you make my head explode."
Sanders scowled and Drake shuffled his feet. But after a glare from their boss, they hurriedly left his office, to discuss this seemingly impossible turn of events.
Chekov sat still in his dingy office, on Level 10, working out the possible scenarios likely to occur during his meet with Minister Bagnold. The most likely outcome wasn't hard to predict when Dumbledore had the Minister wrapped around his dick like a love struck puppy. Regulations were going to be ignored and Chekov was going to be pushed into a corner with nothing. But he had to have the meet regardless. The intention was to gauge Dumbledore, not beg to examine Harry Potter's impossible survival.
"How can you not even consider having the body examined at Saint Mungos Minister?"
"Well Dumbledore said he's fine and he's with his family now," Bagnold said cheerfully. There was a permanent smile on her round face as it was making Chekov sick. She took a sip from the cup of tea on her desk and sighed in pleasure.
"Without even understanding what happened?"
"Harry Potter is alive, Mr. Chekov," Dumbledore said calmly. "The Potter's home was under the protection of the Fidelius charm but it seems their secret keeper, Sirius Black has betrayed them."
"Black?" Chekov said, startled. "Sirius Black? The most hated pureblood in the pureblood community? Are you talking about that Black?"
"It appears he joined Voldemort to redeem himself in the eyes of his family or so he thought," Dumbledore murmured, the disappointment and regret heavy in his voice.
"Regardless, how can you be sure Voldemort was defeated and the Potter kid survived the killing curse?"
"I detected the magic. It's not hard to, you know this Mr. Chekov. Also Voldemort's robe and wand were at the scene. The wand and robe are on the way to your department as we speak so that you can confirm what I have already concluded."
Bagnold gasped and covered her ears every time he who must not be named was mentioned by his name.
"Stop doing the whole Mr. Chekov thing and call me Chekov," he snapped. "Why didn't you take him to the hospital or bring him to the ministry?"
"I examined him, he is fine and he doesn't need the world's attention on him when he can't even say his name properly."
"There are other things to consider, Dumbledore," Chekov hissed. He turned to the minister, "Like Laws for instance," he said accusingly. "The child is now an orphan and the Wizengamot must place him in a home where he will be cared for or else in Madam Trusty's Orphanage. That is, after a medical examination."
"And as Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot I am more than capable of being up to the task. The entire Wizengamot need not be bothered," Dumbledore countered smoothly. "I have already submitted the necessary paperwork, appointing Vernon and Petunia Dursley; Lily's sister, as his permanent guardians."
"Just like that?" Chekov scowled.
"Just like that," Dumbledore agreed.
"So how did he survive? Do you have an answer for that too?"
"His mother sacrificed her soul to protect his."
Chekov was momentarily shocked. He recalled everything he knew about sacrifices and realized Dumbledore could be right. "Yes, that could be a powerful counter curse if the deed was overlooked by the caster," he whispered. "But her soul…."
Dumbledore smiled sadly, his expression clear of political manoeuvring; acknowledging the incredible sacrifice and courage Lily Potter had shown in the final seconds of her life. "She loved her son very much," he said softly.
"But we still have to examine him Dumbledore," Chekov said, coming back to the topic at hand. "Who knows how the curse affected his mind or worse, his magic."
"Oh stop this nonsense," Bagnold intervened exasperatedly. "Dumbledore says it's all good. Why so many questions and demands! Let it go, Chekov. The whole world is celebrating, you should too!"
"We are the Department Of Mysteries," Chekov growled. "We can't just let it go."
"I'm ordering you to stop your investigation, Chekov," Bagnold said. "Are you going to comply or am I going to have to give it in writing?"
Chekov glared at the woman furiously. "No need," he said stiffly. "Good day Minister," he said and turned on his heel, banging the door on his departure.
His angry expression melted into a pensive smile after he was out of the Minister's floor. Dumbledore was hiding something… that much was obvious. The fact that he overruled every rule in the book to keep the Potter child out of their hands showed how important the boy was going to be. The question that came to mind was: what did Dumbledore gain from it?
The people of the ministry were a blur to him until he reached the revolving wall of doors, leading to the surface of his department. He, however, didn't call for a division and instead went right, towards a hole in the wall that was invisible and undetectable to those without the knowledge of its existence.
The stone floor inclined downward sharply beyond the hole and Chekov continued his walk as the air became damp, old and cold. He drew his robes tighter around his shoulder and his footsteps echoed on the walls of the closed stone corridor until he reached his other office, the one that controlled the department that didn't exist; the Department of Intelligence.
Albert Croaker was waiting for him in the spacious square room which had a low ceiling. It was lit by a crackling fire place adjacent to the narrow entrance and had many wooden cupboards occupying most of the corner space in the room. The walls and ceiling had a faded cream colour and the walls were damp in several places. Opposite the door, against the wall, was his large six legged desk, devoid of any object and four cushioned chairs around it. An annoying musty smell made permanent residence in the room but those who knew about the existence of the room had mentally shut the smell out of their system.
"What news from the scum of the world?" Chekov asked tiredly, sinking into his comfortable chair that was charmed to gently massage the tiredness out of his bones.
"He's gone alright," Croaker said grimly. "He was on his way to take out the Potter's, which Dumbledore in his infinite wisdom, didn't mention to the Auror office."
"He knew that the Potter and Longbottom kid were the targets after Voldemort got wind of the prophecy; which, by the way, we still don't know."
Chekov cursed. "What about the Death Eaters," he asked. "There's bound to be a reaction from them. We have to keep the Aurors well informed or else the casualty count is going to take an unexpected leap."
"The Lestrange's have gone to ground. There's not a drop of information on their location. Malfoy has already surrendered to the Aurors claiming to be under the Imperius curse. He made quite the show of regret and forgiveness and you can guarantee he's not going to be the only one."
"Bagnold is going to fudge this up bad. We have to get Barty to act wisely before Bagnold decides to sweep all the dirt, permanently stained or not, into Azkaban."
For a moment the crackle of the wood burning in the alcove was the only sound to be heard while Croaker waited for Chekov to gather his thoughts.
"Where is Hugo?"
"Rattling every informant that has links to Voldemort's network. Now that Voldemort is gone, his network has lost their solidarity and we're finally getting some legit information."
The whole war against Voldemort had been a giant cluster fuck. They had been unprepared and unequipped to deal with a Dark Lord who had loyal, unbreakable followers and the power to keep wavering ones in line. Even with their contacts in the underbelly of the magical world, not one clue had presented itself before Voldemort took centre stage with the force of a ten foot tsunami. A Dark Lord was bad enough but a self righteous wizard with equal power had to interfere and withhold information that almost led to the collapse of the Ministry of Magic for Great Britain.
Of course, they couldn't complain or even make the vigilante groups back off because the nature of their department was complete secrecy after all. No one could know they existed and that fact was key in the protection of magical Britain from the dozen other threats plaguing it every day apart from ambitious egoistical powerful witches and wizards.
"Keep getting those names to the Barty," Chekov said after a while.
"There's something else," Croaker added. "Hugo says the person who heard the prophecy was Severus Snape."
"Snape," Chekov murmured. "Isn't he the kid who tried to kill the muggleborn family as a part of his initiation? Thomas was it?"
"The very same, the father succumbed to his wounds though and Dumbledore is already claiming he is a spy and was working for him."
"A spy on whose authority?" Chekov snorted. "Take this up to Barty and make sure he get's that arrogant arsehole by the balls." Chekov meant Dumbledore.
"The evidence has gone missing," Croaker said solemnly. "Anything and everything linking Snape to acts of murder and torture have just been erased from the law enforcement archives."
Chekov's eyes were thunderous. "Who did that?" he hissed.
"Mad Eye. He thinks he wasn't seen but one of our recruits in training, Alan Shaw, saw him, followed him and recorded the whole thing."
"Voldemort is out of the picture and Dumbledore is already filling the gaps," Chekov muttered. "Keep the recording orb secret for now. Mad Eye is too valuable to the Aurors to be charged with destruction of evidence."
"We can't deal with Dumbledore and the Death Eaters at the same time Chekov," Croaker said. "Hugo and Charles are already reporting stirrings of anger and revenge. The Death Eaters who haven't surrendered already are planning something big."
"Focus on the Death Eaters," Chekov said. "Find them, update the Aurors and bury them. I'll deal with Dumbledore and his people myself."
1st November 1981, 10:00 AM
"There's something terribly wrong with this picture," Chekov grumbled. "Black was convicted without a trail."
"He admitted his guilt and apparently that was enough for Barty. Having to clean up 13 mutilated remains convinced him the law could go to hell."
"No one is even bothering to remember we have laws for a reason," Chekov shouted, banging his fist on the table. "Black, being in league with Voldemort makes no sense at all."
"He didn't deny it; in fact he said nothing at all. The man's had a complete mental breakdown. He's been laughing and sobbing ever since he was caught and Barty and crowd seem to think it's because of the death of his master. No one on the other side knows anything about Black being a Death Eater but no one is denying the possibility," Croaker said. "Unless Black defended himself, or even protested his innocence, there was no way to stop him from ending up in Azkaban."
"Dumbledore didn't defend him? Wasn't Black working for Dumbledore?"
"If Black was given a trial then there could have been the possibility of Dumbledore's vigilante network being exposed. Ever since Black graduated from Hogwarts, he hasn't worked for the ministry or done anything that can be used as evidence to prove he's not a Death Eater. He's been working for Dumbledore and I don't think Dumbledore wants it known publicly, whatever Black was doing for him. He even excused himself from the hearing and stayed away from the ministry until Black was taken away. In the eyes of the ministry, there's no doubt Black is a Death Eater. If we didn't know he was working for Dumbledore then even we would have assumed he turned to the other side."
"Authorisation to use the unforgivable curses is bad enough but convictions without even the illusion of a trail is ridiculous! Not to mention the leaks in the department itself. Bagnold has lost her marbles. She's so ecstatic that Voldemort was stopped under her reign; she's not even giving a shit about the billions of laws being broken by her own people! She needs to be kicked out of office immediately."
"Someone in the department is or rather was working for Voldemort," Croaker murmured, ignoring the irrelevant parts of the outburst. "We've narrowed it down to the Time and Spell division."
"It's the Spell division, no doubt," Chekov said. "The Time division and the Unspeakables working there are almost as old as the ministry. The Spell division is controlled by Bode and…?"
"Rookwood and Bode."
"Keep eyes on them at all times and what of Hugo's Intel?"
"Jugson, Rosier, Gibbon, Karkaroff and the Carrow twins have been confirmed as Death Eaters."
"Are the Aurors acting yet?"
"Rosier and Karkaroff have been spotted in and around Knockturn Alley and Jugson was seen near Crooked Corner."
"Knockturn Alley is already flooded with Aurors but convincing Barty to send men into Crooked Corner is going to be difficult."
"He's getting suspicious as to where this Intel is coming from," Croaker added.
"Make a source then," Chekov snapped. "Don't bother me with insignificant details. You know the rules of this department."
"Hugo sent in some information about the Lestrange's possibly hiding out in Hillingdon."
"What's there in Hillingdon?"
"A couple of pureblood residences; Longbottom, Bones and Smith I think. He thinks they might be hiding out in one of them."
Chekov snorted. "Unlikely but ensure that the houses are searched anyway. What about Charles, Stacy and Higgins?"
"With the amount of chaos our ministry is in, it's almost open season on us," Croaker sighed. "Charles just blew up a monument in Bulgaria to discourage some flunkies from allying with some low level Death Eaters and attacking the ministry. Obviously he pinned it on those morons before leaving. Stacy is in the States and apparently there are elements in their magical government who are very keen on infiltrating the department above us. She has her hands full finding and modifying their memories."
"What about Higgins?"
"His alias, Jonathan Grimsby, has been declared enemy of the state in Transylvania," Croaker said dryly.
"They weren't too happy with the demise of Voldemort. He promised them a free reign in Britain in return for an artefact they had in their possession. According to Higgins it was something that belonged to Gryffindor but he hasn't been able to identify what it was. Higgins attacked the Castle Dracula to put down any ideas about attacking us. He says the idea that we're vulnerable was crushed quite spectacularly."
"He was alone?"
Croaker shrugged. "He likes doing things with a bang. He's a lot like Hugo in that manner but Hugo tends to leave his mark in the most violent way possible."
Chekov rubbed his eyes and sighed. He hadn't had time to close his eyes in the last forty eight hours and neither had Croaker. They couldn't afford to sleep until all the threats to their world were brought down to a respectable level.
"It's barely been a day since Voldemort's death and so much has happened already."
"It's going to get worse before it gets better," Croaker said forbiddingly. "I better get back to work. Hugo and Higgins need more gold to get informants to talk and I got to find a way to get it to them."
"I'll keep an eye on the spell division. You focus on the Death Eaters."
25th December1981, 4:00 PM, Courtroom 10
"They were too late," Croaker said darkly.
"Frank and Alice?"
"Tortured until their sanity broke."
Chekov closed his eyes and stopped the tear from forming. "How did we let this happen?" he whispered.
"The Intel about Barty Crouch junior was ignored by the senior," Croaker spat. "Hugo sent it directly to the Auror department, risking our secrecy, knowing the urgency of the matter but they didn't believe it."
"Take Hugo off the payroll for the month," Chekov said; his voice turning cold.
Croaker was shocked. "Are you sure about this? He did it because… well… you know…"
"He knew Alice was my niece and his emotions got the better of him. Whether she was dear to me or not, the information goes through you to the Aurors. Hugo broke the rule and he will be punished accordingly."
"He's not going to be pleased about this," Croaker warned.
"I'm the boss, not him."
Chekov and Croaker were standing at the entrance to court room number ten, watching Barty Crouch sentence his only son while his wife fainted next to him. The Lestrange's showed no regret about what they did and even at the darkest hour of their life, they pledged allegiance to the dark lord.
There were no Wizengamot members present in the court room except for a few law enforcement officials, bought and paid for journalists, Dumbledore and Bartemius Crouch. No one was allowed to defend themselves even if they claimed they were innocent. There was no trial and no evidence except for the word of the Aurors, Dumbledore and anonymous tips. Only those with bags, the size of monsters, filled with gold were let off the hook.
The two Intelligence officers watched without emotion, while Crouch screamed himself hoarse, sentencing alleged criminals and Death Eater, one after the other to Azkaban for life, his son at the top of the list. When Severus Snape turn came, both knew what was about to happen. The man's crimes were ignored in favour of him being a spy for Dumbledore and providing useful information for the betterment of the war.
Chekov snorted at the joke. The only information Snape had provided, resulted in the death of an Unspeakable in the Rune division who was also a promising candidate for recruitment in the Department of Intelligence and the other a major asset to the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.
But there was nothing they could do to change that without proof.
"What about Alice's son, Neville?"
"They had him under the Cruciatus for about a second. That could be enough to destroy his mind."
"Did it?" Chekov's voice cracked.
"The boy's magic reacted strongly to protect his mind but he's going to find it difficult to use magic in the future."
"Where are we on the Death Eaters who claimed innocence by the means of the Imperius?"
"Malfoy, Yaxley, Crabbe, Goyle, Macnair and Nott have lost close to a hundred thousand Galleons from their vaults in a hurry," Croaker said disdainfully, ticking his fingers with each name. "Dolohov, Greyback, Wilkes, the Carrow's and Rowle are still at large."
"Where did the gold go?"
"No trace of it. Which means it's still floating around."
"Has Stacy put the fear of god into those ambitious American wizards?"
"They're not going to be attempting anything for the next thousand years according to her."
"Put her on the gold case. Find out where the money went. Obviously it's in the ministry and in the hands of someone on the Wizengamot."
"There are fifty members of the Wizengamot. You want her to investigate all of them?"
"Start with the fucktards and work towards the respectable scumbags. Find out how it changed hands, confiscate it and deposit it in our accounts."
"We're desperately short on funds aren't we?" Chekov muttered.
"Gold in this form is as off the books as it gets. The amount of gold available to be picked here will keep us running smoothly for a decade."
"Stacy is going to love this," Croaker chuckled.
2nd January 1982, 1:00 PM, Hogwarts
Cheerful and joyful vibes reverberated through the staff room at Hogwarts. All the members of the Order of the Phoenix were in high spirits and the empty bottles of Firewhisky had something to do with it.
"Here's to the end of the reign of terror!" Dedalus Diggle toasted loudly. He banged his smoking goblet on the table and split half its contents.
"Here's to Harry James Potter!" roared Hagrid, crushing McGonagall in his arms.
"Hagrid, you're strangling me!" squealed a half drunk Minerva. Her cheeks were red and she was sweating buckets, her insides heated with Firewhisky.
"Here's to helping pretty witches populate the world!" A boisterous Sturgis Podmore yelled.
He earned a few laughs and smacks for that comment.
Dumbledore tinkled his glass goblet with his fork bringing everyone's attention to him. The room was occupied with Order members only and was missing quite a few witches and wizards who had lost their lives in the struggle against Voldemort.
"It has been a long terrible war and we have lost a lot of friends dear to us. Let us have a minute of silence to remember the pure hearts and indomitable wills that led us to this wonderful day," Dumbledore said softly.
Everyone fell silent and raised their glasses in tribute.
"Dorcas Meadows," Moody said quietly, remembering the incredible witch who was responsible for many a victory against rampaging death eaters.
"Peter Pettigrew," Remus Lupin murmured.
One by one, names were mentioned with voices filled with sorrow and respect.
"Gideon and Fabian," whispered Molly Weasley.
"Lily and James," McGonagall cried.
"Marlene McKinnon." Her name was sobbed by an emotional Hagrid.
"Frank and Alice," Arthur Weasley said hollowly.
"Edgar Bones," Sturgis said, remembering his friend.
"Benjy," Arabella Figg muttered, her head bowed to hide the tears.
"Caradoc Dearborn," wheezed Elphias Doge.
No one mentioned Sirius Black, the traitor responsible for the deaths of Lily and James. Rot in hell bastard, was the thought running through everyone's mind.
"There are many who have fallen in this war and they would not want us to hold on to their names with sadness but with the hope that we cherish their memories and move forth to build the world that they dreamed of."
Dumbledore took a sip from his goblet and everyone followed. Slowly, the heavy atmosphere was replaced once again with the light, drunken heartiness and bottle after bottle of Firewhisky was emptied.
In the cheer of the wizards and witches, Severus Snape sat silently in one corner watching everyone with an ugly sneer on his face. He knew he didn't belong here but Dumbledore had insisted he make his presence known and so he found himself amidst cold stares and disgusted looks.
"Is Harry alright?" Lupin asked Dumbledore. The broken werewolf had not touched a goblet of drink or a plate of food.
"He's doing fine," Dumbledore said smiling. "Petunia didn't protest. The loss of her sister hit her hard as well."
Remus nodded but there was something else on his mind and his hesitance was clear to Dumbledore.
"What is it Remus?"
"You know… I think… I mean… I could take Harry and care for him," he said in a rush. "I'm sure Lily and James would not have minded."
"They would love it," Dumbledore said kindly. He put his hand on Lupin's shoulder and looked him in the eye. "But the danger to Harry staying outside the wards is great. The ministry has caught up with most of the Death Eaters but there are those who avoided Azkaban."
"I can protect Harry," Remus said confidently.
"I have faith in your abilities as a wizard Remus. But what about the full moon? Harry will be unprotected and could be attacked."
"I'll think of something," Remus said, but the confidence was fading quickly, bringing back his defeated image.
"Harry is safe, Remus," Dumbledore said gently. "You should worry more about your health. You look terrible."
Remus smiled weakly. "I'll be fine," he said and walked away with an utterly miserable expression.
Dumbledore sighed, his mind overrun with the strings that controlled the magical world. He thought about the deep fissures in the Ministry that needed to be fixed and he thought about Harry and the scar that held the key to peace in the wizarding world. More than once, he wondered if he was doing the right thing but the thought was erased before it could fester when he remembered the prophecy and what it meant.
There was so much left to do but the plan for the future was already set in motion and a weak will was unacceptable. With that resolve he brightened up and beckoned Snape, another idea forming in his mind. Perhaps the misguided youth would come back to the righteous path as a Professor in Hogwarts.
A/N: Enjoy the story and review.