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Chapter 8: Chapter Seven: The Family Arrives
Chapter Seven: The Family Arrives
“Fire teams, squads, and aircraft crews require a combination of discipline, effective leadership, fear of reprisal, self-delusion, and peer pressure to generate an effective fighting attitude.”
- James F. Dunnigan
How to Make War
The Burrow, Devon, England, UK, 0800 hours local time
The next morning began with a sense of fear-laced urgency. With the Burrow’s population expected to balloon to a couple hundred, everyone was involved in preparations; setting up six huge tables, enough to fit thirty people each. They also marked out spaces for individual tents, as to avoid fights over spaces. The doctors were making a check of adequate medical supplies. The only people not helping were Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Neville, and Luna, who had gone off with Major Thomas to work on a new regulations manual. That is Ernie Macmillan ran up with a copy of Daily Prophet. Running straight to Harry and the rest of the staff he shouted, “Sirs! Sirs! Look at this, oh my God, look at this!” He was shouting at the top of his lungs and there were tears in his eyes. Harry looked at Major Thomas, who shook is head, as if to say, “I’ll want to see how you handle this.”
Harry put his hands on Ernie’s shoulders and said, “Calm down and tell me what happened.”
“Look,” Ernie said, trembling. “Just look, Sir,” he said, and held out of the copy of the Daily Prophet. Harry took one look at it and said, “Oh, my God.” The headline and first two sentences of the article told him all he needed to know.
Hogwarts Student Missing, Father Found Dead.
Hogwarts student Hannah Abbott, 16, cannot be located after her father, Jonathon Abbott, is found dead in Oxford area. Investigators believe Hannah was kidnapped and her father murdered by Death Eaters.
“Oh, God,” Luna said. “I’m so sorry.” She understood, having lost a loved one, her mother. It was Harry and Ginny who understood more deeply than Ron. Hermione, Neville of Luna. It was something in Ernie’s eyes that told them that there was a lot more going on here than pure friendship.
“She’s my best friend,” Ernie said, though something rang deeper than that.
“She’s more than that, isn’t she?” Ginny asked.
“Yes,” he said, his voice breaking, “Sir. We started dating at the beginning of last year. I’ve been worried sick about her since her father pulled her from school, and now that she’s been captured. She’s probably already dead.”
“Don’t think like that!” Harry said. “If she’s still alive, we’ll find her and rescue her.”
“Really?,” Ernie said, hope in his eyes and in his voice.
“Yes,” Luna said.
“I’m serious Ern, don’t think like that,” Harry said, emphatically. “If you think like that, we can do nothing; you can do nothing, to help her.”
“I understand that now, Sir. Thank you.” Ernie said.
“Get back to work,” Hermione ordered.
“Yes, Sir,” Ernie said and walked away. Harry, looking at him, noticed that he walked a little straighter.
When Ernie was out of earshot, Major Thomas said, “Good job, Harry, you were really inspirational.”
“Thanks,” Harry said.
“Now,” Major Thomas, “let’s get that manual drafted.
“Yes, sir,” Harry said.
“No,” Thomas said, clearly seeing him in a new light. “You’re in charge here. I should be calling you ‘sir’.”
So they walked into Harry’s tent. Due to the fact that Wizarding tents are essentially two-bedroom apartments, Harry’s tent had a sitting room, two bedrooms branching off, and a bathroom, and surrounded by red canvas. They all sat down and the round sitting room table, and began the arduous process of creating an actual manual. After two hours, they had something Major Thomas liked to call, “A book to keep everyone from shooting themselves in the foot.” It covered everything with some key differences considering they were dealing with wizards and witches and teenagers. For example, there were absolutely no restrictions on women engaging in direct combat. Hermione, Ginny, and Luna had engaged in direct combat twice and performed admirably both times. And besides, such restrictions were outdated and ignored reality, anyway. Two, there were absolutely no cross-fraternization rules. The rational behind that was deeply personal. With Neville and Luna already lovers, Ron and Hermione on the verge, and Harry hoping to get back together with Ginny once all this was over, he felt that he simply couldn’t allow it. Not to mention, Padma, Michael, Parvati, Justin, Ernie… Despite Major Thomas’s insistence that it would “destroy essential discipline,” Harry and the senior staff put their collective foot down. All Thomas said after that could do was grudgingly accept it. As for saluting, they were uncomfortable with it, but accepted it as coming with the territory. Even the Wizarding World knew and accepted the meaning of the universal military salute having its origins in Europe’s Age of Chivalry. So they kept it, and Hermione took the document and bound and distributed it to the D.A.
When they walked out of the tent it was 1000 hours, and the realization they were hungry took hold for they had yet to have breakfast; for that matter, neither had anyone else. So Mrs.Weasley, with their help, cooked up a huge breakfast, and over that breakfast, Harry had time to think about certain things. One, Harry thought angrily, was those damned weekly status reports Hermione put him up to. He only dwelled on it briefly before his thoughts turned to Ginny. Why am I keeping up this stupid pretense? Harry thought angrily. Why, if she’s going to be put in danger everyday now? Because, Harry thought, reason returning, because if we do get back together, she’ll be a target. Death Eater attacks could be launched with the soul purpose of killing her. No, Harry decided, his heart breaking just a little bit more. Not now, not until this war is over and we’ve won. Glumly, he finished his food, walked into the Burrow’s sitting room, and sat down to brood over his decision.
He stopped brooding in five minutes when the fireplace glowed green. He got on his comm.-mirror and got every D.A. member running into the room wands drawn. Harry ordered them into a U-shape in front of the fireplace and be prepared to fire on anyone or anything coming out. The fire crackled one more time, and Zacharias Smith walked out. But only Harry and his senior staff noticed. They heard Lavender Brown shriek as soon as Zach materialized. “He’s a Death Eater! Fire! Fire!” They did, with every hex, and curse, Harry had ever taught them. Zach barely ducked in time, and the numerous Reductor curses in the mix succeeded in blowing the mantelpiece away.
“Cease fire, goddamn it.” Ginny shrieked, shouting at the rest of the D.A. “What the hell is wrong with you?!” She shouted at Lavender Brown, who jumped back in surprise. Under Ginny’s quivering stare, Lavender was forced to come up with an answer, and quickly.
“Well, Sir,” Lavender stammered quickly. “We were all a bit skittish and we sort of jumped the gun.” The other D.A. members quickly nodded in agreement. One thing Harry loved about Ginny was that she was never afraid to tell anyone they were wrong or stupid, and because she shared her brother’s tendency to curse like a sailor when she got really angry, she was quite effective.
“‘A bit skittish, sort of jumped the gun?’” Ginny said derisively. “Brown,” she growled, “you broke out the goddamned wall.”
“I know that, Sir, and… and… for the record, Sir, we all fired at once, you can’t single me out!” Lavender said, clearly growing a backbone. Harry and his friends looked at each other with something approaching surprise. They both knew she was the one who started shouting “fire.”
“Lavender,” Ron said, sternly. “You’re the one who started shouting bloody “fire” at the top of your lungs as soon as Smith walked out of the fireplace!”
“I was?” Lavender said, genuinely surprised. Then the realization that he was right hit her. “Oh,” she said, blushing furiously. She turned to Zach and said, “I’m sorry, really I am.”
“Yeah, well, you’re a jerk,” Zacharias Smith said angrily.
“Zach,” Ginny said warningly. “We don’t take kindly to D.A. members talking to each other like that around here.”
“Who are you to boss me around, Ginny?” Zach said smugly.
“Clearly,” Ron said sternly. “Mr. Smith doesn’t know about the significant changes made to Dumbledore’s Army in the past few days.”
“I agree,” Harry said. “Ginny enlighten him.”
“With pleasure, Sir,” she said a devilish grin on her face. She motioned for Zacharias Smith to follow her and they weren’t seen for five minutes. When they returned, Zacharias was white-faced. The other Order members, who had come in after they heard the mantle blow, were impressed.
“I’m sorry,” Zacharias said to Lavender clearly humbled.
“Okay,” Lavender said shocked. She was apparently as shocked as everyone else. This was so unlike him.
Ginny does good work, Harry thought.
“Good,” Ginny said. “Now go over and join the other D.A. members to await orders.
“Yes, Sir, Zacharias said, and he walked over and stood over with the others.
“Um,” said a very angry Mrs. Weasley, “my fireplace!”
“Lavender,” Ginny said. “You handle it.”
“Yes, Sir,” was all she said. She then took out her wand, pointed it at the mantelpiece and said, “Reparo.”
All the stone and mortar flew back into place, and the few pictures whose fragments survived the concussive force of the blast flew back together and rejoined their repaired frames. But they were few in number, photos commemorating priceless family moments were gone forever due to the carelessness of Lavender Brown and the rest of the D.A. Molly Weasley knew that, which is why she slowly walked up the stairs, tears in her eyes, her husband beside her.
Once they left the room, Major Thomas said, “In order to prevent incidents like that from happening, we need to get you measured for uniforms, get a training area set up, and we should get started ASAP.”
“How do you propose we do that?” Harry asked.
“Simple,” she said. “Mrs. Finch-Fletchly is a tailor. She’s agreed to take your measurements and give them to her company in Oxford to handle the actual production.”
“Good,” Harry said, relieved and heard sounds of surprise and acceptance from behind him.
“So, let’s go,” Major Thomas said and they left to find Mrs. Finch-Fletchly had been in the bathroom in her tent and hadn’t heard what had happened. The rest of the civilian Muggle evacuees had tried to run in when the Order members had, but the Order had told them to stay outside. Major Thomas was only in there because he came in through the front door. They walked up to her when she returned to the sitting room and asked her to perform the measurements. She agreed, so they led her to the sitting room, where she got all the measurements done in one hour. He sent Lavender and Zacharias to escort her to Oxford to turn the plans and measurements over to her business.
“Lavender and Zacharias?,” Ron asked. “Why them?
“So they can learn to work together,” was all Harry said. He was seriously concerned about Lavender and Zacharias being at each others throat becoming a liability in combat. That spat they witnessed in the sitting room, he feared, may have been the first volley in a battle between the two of them. They seemed however to at least accept each others presence without open hostility.
“Mr. Potter,” she said, confidently. “You’ll have your uniforms in two days.”
“Thank you, Mrs. Finch-Fletchley,” Harry said. “How much do I owe you for all of this?”
“Oh, nothing,” Mary Finch-Fletchley said. “I’m doing this for my boy.”
“Mum,” Justin said was behind his mother, said, embarrassed. Everyone laughed, even Justin a little.
Suddenly, a large whooshing sound was heard along with the sounds of two people running up the stairs.
“Ohm” Mr. Weasley said excitedly, “that should be some of the relatives. They must have arrived by Portkey. Get the door.”
They opened the door, and saw two people, a boy and a girl about Harry’s age. Behind them was a mass of slightly confused men, women, and children who had apparently spent the last minute picking themselves up off the ground. The young woman had red hair, blue eyes, and all in all bore a striking resemblance to his darling Ginny. The boy was black haired, brown-eyed and a somewhat stocky body.
“Julie?” Ginny said excitedly besides Harry. “I haven’t seen you in hell, seven years?”
“Seven years,” Julie said in an American accent. “Give or take a month.” Ginny leaped up to help hug her friend, the only cousin of hers she actually liked.
“This is my boyfriend, Ken Parker.” Julie said, pointing the man next to him. She began to introduce him to Ginny and Ron. At this point Ken made a rather pointless remark about Ginny being hot. Harry and Ron immediately saw red and lunged at him, barely being held back by Hermione, Ginny, Neville, and Luna.
“Whoa?” Ken said. “Who did I tick off, brother or boyfriend?”
“Both,” Ron grunted as Hermione and Ginny pushed him against the wall. “I’m the brother,” he said. “Harry here is the boyfriend.” At this point, Julie and Ken’s eyes flew to the lightning scar on Harry’s forehead.
“Oh, my God,” was all Ken said.
“You’re the girlfriend of the great Harry Potter, the savior of our entire civilization.”
“Uh,” Ginny said, clearly casting about for a decent lie. “Yes,” she said, grabbing his arm. “Yes, I am.”
“Wow,” Julie said. “You simply must tell me all about him.”
“Dude,” Ken said apologetically. “I’m sorry.” They proceeded to introduce Hermione, Neville, and Luna before they remembered the civilians who came with them.
“These are family members?” Harry asked.
“Oh, yes,” Julie said. “Some of the other teenagers brought their boyfriends and girlfriends so not all these people are actually Weasley or Prewitt.”
“How many are there?” Ginny asked.
“I’d say about sixty men, women, and, children.” Julie said.
Sixty, sixty?! Harry thought. That’s over half of what we were initially expecting, and that’s just the first wave from the United States.If the Canadians, the Australians, the New Zealanders, or the French numbers are that big, security is going to become a real problem around here.
Hermione apparently shared the same reservations, as she said distressed, “Great. That’s really great.”
“I see you brought the required tents,” Ginny said.
We’ve dawdled long enough, Harry decided. We should get these people oriented and their tents set up as soon as possible.
“All right!” Harry said, turning to his friends. “Get the D.A. out here, tell them to pick up the tent and get them set up.”
“What’s going on here?” Julie asked, confused. “What’s the D.A.?”
“We’ll explain later,” Harry said quickly. “Have you eaten?”
“What?” Julie said, perplexed. “No, why? We’re several hours behind you; it’s still early morning in North America.”
“Do you want to?” Harry asked.
“Yes,” Julie asked. “But why?”
“Good,” Harry said. Turning back to Ron, he said, “Tell your mother we need breakfast for sixty people out here as soon as possible.”
“Will someone please explain what’s going on?” Julie asked.
“Go around back, Julie. I’ll have Ginny explain in a bit.”
“But-“Julie began, but Ginny cut her off.
“Julie,” Ginny said, “ just go around back.” Julie grunted and walked back around the side of the house.
“Let’s get to work, guys.” Harry said. Forty minutes later they had gotten the tents set up and everyone seated and eating. Ginny had explained about the D.A. to everyone and that seemed to calm down some of the more confused and scared guests. Ginny also told Harry and his friends about Julie Prewitt. She was New Mexican, along with her boyfriend. They came from the Alamogordo-Holloman Air Force Base area and while Julie was a pureblood, Ken, Julie had told her was a Muggle-born whose mother was an officer on the base.
Over the next day more and more guests arrived. The French included sixty people, including Fleur’s mother and father, Edouard and Lucie Delacour, and of course, with their eldest daughter already at the Burrow, there was Fleur’s baby sister, eleven-year old Gabrielle Delacour. She was miniature version of her older sister, except that her hair was black. She immediately went gaga eyed over Harry, and stayed that way until Ginny took the step of glaring at her, fiercely until she gave a loud squeak and ran to her mother for protection.
Lucie Delacour, a formidable looking blonde woman went and glared at her; after a thirty second stare contest, Harry was shocked to see Ginny back down, murmur an apology, and leave very quickly. It wqas this incident that for some reason reminded Harry that neither he nor apparently Ginny had told anyone, including Ron, that they had broken up. He knew he’d have to find out eventually, and something told him that time was coming soon. But something also told him that the circumstances would be incredibly painful for a lot of people, not just for Harry, Ron, and the Weasleys.
The groups arrived from the UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand arrived throughout the day, totaling to another couple hundred people . Owing to the need to organize and settle all these people, Major Thomas agreed to push back training to the next day. But he had them set the paddock and the surrounding area not being used to house civilians into a training area, complete with obstacle course.
A/N: This quote came from How to Make War Fourth Edition by James F Dunnigan. Best military book I ever read, apart from the official histories of the US Army and US Marine Corps I have.