You are viewing a story from harrypotterfanfiction.com
View Online | Printer Friendly Version of Entire Story
Chapter 17: The Poet
A/N: As always, thanks to all of you out there reading/reviewing. Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated since this is only my first attempt at writing fiction...ever. Hopefully you don't consider this chapter to be too much like filller, things will get action packed soon enough. Also, I'm trying to get these out as fast as possible but latley I've been having issues trying to come up with something half-way decent. So updates may not be quite as fast as previously but they will definitley happen. And I blame AP Lit for the poetry refrence.
Disclaimer: Got to go through with these every time. I only own plot/oc's everything else belongs to JKR. Also, dont own the poem, that belongs to Robert Frost.
"Ugh…There has to be something we haven’t tried yet. Ice Mice…Droobles Best Blowing Gum…Licorice Wand.” A very irritable Sirius Black was prowling the halls in front of Dumbledore’s office trying to find out what the password was. He and James were staring inquisitively at the statue, as though looking at it in a particular way would invariably lead to the hidden password. They had been at this for hours already and Lily and Remus had resigned themselves to the fact that Dumbledore probably had more important business to attend to. Yet the more the two of them paced around the statue, the more resolute and unyielding it seemed to be.
“Why don’t you two just give up? Dumbledore’s bound to leave his office at some point.” Remus was weary and weak. Transforming every month was horrifically painful and exhausting. That coupled with their near death experience with Voldemort made him want his two friends to relax, even if it were just for a moment.
“NO!” Both James and Sirius had turned around with looks of dead-set determination fixed in their eyes. “Remus, as tired as we all are, Dumbledore has to know what happened. Cauldron Cakes…” Letting out an exasperated sigh James’ face went from sulking to complete shock when the spiral staircase began unraveling before them ascending up to their ultimate destination.
“Nice one Prongs. See Moony, told you we would figure out. Know what that means?” Sirius was almost giddy with mirth as they climbed up the curving stairs.
“Merlin, one would think that you would’ve grown out of that by now…” Instead of being overjoyed at the fact that they could now go see Dumbledore, Remus was sullen.
“Now what in the name of Merlin would make you think that I would have grown out of that? But instead of doing my homework you now have to take over my guard duty.” Sirius was smirking at the agog expression splattered across Remus’ face. Ever since their first year, Remus and Sirius always had the same conditions for their bets. If Sirius won, Remus did his homework for a month. If Remus won, Sirius would not hex Slytherin’s for a month-with exception to Snape naturally. It was one of those memories that painfully collided with his conscious. Remus hadn’t thought about those days since he was living them. Wow that was a long time ago, how he can remember something like that? Then again all my fond memories were from after they became Animagi…
“Oh cheer up, I was just kidding. You don’t have to act like anyone died or anything.” Sirius still had that glimmer of a smirk in his eyes as he stopped on the top stair waiting for everyone else. Rapping hardly on the door all of them stood in stony silence that suffocated the narrow staircase. All four of them glared piercingly at the well polished door waiting for any activity of life inside of Dumbledore’s office. Fearing that Dumbledore hadn’t heard their rapping, Sirius turned to pounding on the door. Surely Dumbledore had to hear THAT. I know he’s old and somewhat off his rocker, but I wasn’t aware that he’s deaf as well.
“Sirius if you attempt to pound on that door again I will be forced to bind your fist to the side of your skull with a Permanent Sticking Charm.” Lily was drained physically and emotionally. She thought she could handle this, but after her encounter in the forest doubt besieged her. I failed them, I know I did. Sure we’re all alive, but I lost the sword. Okay, maybe the spell did work and Dumbledore has it. What are you talking about, you know that the spell failed and the sword of Godric Gryffindor is who knows. Being a Healer was hard enough. Having to patch the same people up only to see them back in your ward only days later. But this, openly defying him, is much more difficult than I could have anticipated. How can these three guys be so calm about all of this? Why aren’t they perturbed in the least bit? Am I just weaker than they are? The Sorting Hat did believe that I would have done well in Ravenclaw as well. Then there’s James…
Looking cautiously over at him she was locked into his stare once more. I can’t deny it-I am in love with the guy. He knows it, I know it, Sirius, Remus, Peter, Katie, and pretty much everyone we went to school knows it. With what we’re doing it’s only a matter of time before Voldemort tries to kill us, but I’m not ready to die. Should I marry him? Marry him! Lily was scandalized at the thought, more so than having to face Dumbledore momentarily and explain how she screwed everything up for the Order.
“Prongs, call off your girlfriend, she’s barking mad.” Sirius still had a grin plastered to his face despite how the last thirty-six hours were turning out. He knew that Lily wouldn’t actually do what she threatened. Although personal experience has taught him that she is not objected to bewitching pillows to attack him and send various hexes, jinxes, and curses in his path if he did something to really make her angry.
“Clearly Dumbledore isn’t here or he would have answered by now. Since he isn’t answering his door and it’s locked, I say we just blow the door off.” James was wearing a matching grin at the thought of blowing off the Headmaster’s door. It was one of the pranks that they had always wanted to do but never managed to successfully pull off. However, now they could do that, and this time it could actually be excused because of the sensitivity of what they were working for and what they working with.
“And if you even so much as reach for your wand…” Lily rounded on James and had a smoldering look plastered on her face. However it dissipated as soon as James pulled Lily into a hug and lightly kissed her. Sirius and Remus both chuckled at how James could make Lily change her attitude so abruptly with an act so simple.
“You’ll what? Lose your train of thought again?” A grin was seemingly permanently etched into James’ lips as he coyly looked over at Lily who was also grinning mischievously.
“Actually, no. You see, I, unlike you, can actually function when I walk into a room with you in there and not being reduced to shamelessly flirting and asking me out to no avail. But if you would have let me finished I was merely going to suggest this…Alomahora.” Pointing her wand at the door handle from behind James’ back, the door quietly clicked and quickly they ushered themselves into Dumbledore’s office.
“Oh Lily, why do you mock me? But why wouldn’t you let me blow off Dumbledore’s door, we could have easily repaired the damage.” James was fake pouting at this point and had a look on his face reminiscent to a kid who got caught trying to sneak Cauldron Cakes before dinner was served. Remus silently rolled his eyes and wondered how in the world that James could retain a childlike quality to him even after all that happened.
“Yah and Remus, I suggest you stop rolling your eyes. You think its bad now; just wait until they have children…” Sirius and Remus both began laughing at another one of their old jokes that they used to constantly tease James about the infamous James-Lily rows. “You know, our entertainment has been lacking, I would love for a reenactment of just one of their many showdowns. It was like clash of the hormonally driven titans.” James shot a look at Sirius who was still chuckling.
“Well now that we’re in here just how are we supposed to go about contacting Dumbledore?” James was growing rather irritated with the constant trips down memory lane back to the days he spent in Hogwarts. Naturally they were the best years of his life, but living in the past is dangerous, especially if the present decides to leave you behind as you wallow in things that once were and will never be again.
“Fawkes can locate Dumbledore wherever he’s at. Lily, grab a piece of parchment and get a quill and just write saying that we’re in his office and that we need to meet with him immediately.” Remus had already begun walking halfway to where the slumbering phoenix was before Lily even realized that he said something. Rather hesitantly she searched Dumbledore’s desk for a piece of parchment paper, trying to make sure that nothing was out of place. It just felt wrong for her to be poking around the Headmaster’s desk, even though she had been out of school for years now. Hastily scribbling a note she haphazardly made her way over to Remus and hastily tied the note to the phoenix’s talon.
“Fawkes, take this to Dumbledore straight away. It’s imperative that we speak to him.” Remus looked steadily into Fawkes’ beady eyes before hearing a low quiver of a haunting musical note and watched as the bird vanished in crimson flames leaving behind a single golden feather at his feet.
“And now, we wait.”
Minuets slowly turned into hours, which in turn lead to more hours. The longer the four of them sat in his office, the more their concern grew. They may not have known the headmaster personally, but they knew enough about Albus Dumbledore to know that him not responding for hours after they sent a message out meant that dark events were transpiring around them. After all, it had been Dumbledore who even specifically made this group to fight Voldemort, and it was he who assigned them to help test out his theories about the greater scheme to which the Dark Lord was operating.
However, none of them moved, or dared to make any noise. Any type of creaking or gurgling noise would cause them all to jump, or when the setting sun’s ray’s bounced off the glass they would look swiftly up to see if the crimson light was from a phoenix flame carrying back the man they needed to speak to most. The air was thick with silence; the breath of all four of them could be heard. Together they waited, before sleep inevitably claimed its victims. It was only when a bright light erupted in complete darkness did the four slumbering figures burst into life and withdrawn their wands pointing it at the source of this intrusion.
Standing before them was Albus Dumbledore, looking more worn down and defeated than any of them had ever seen. “Ahh…Mr. Potter, Mr. Black, Mr. Lupin, and Miss Evans, I see that you are missing a member of your party, then again I dare take it that is why you used Fawkes to track down my location.”
“Professor, before we begin, I have to ask this, did you by chance happen to receive the sword of Gryffindor oh say yesterday at one thirty in the morning?” Lily looked rather hesitantly up from her lap and was blushing profusely that she had even asked the question. I knew that it didn’t work, oh why did I have to go and do a spell that I haven’t really mastered yet?
“No Miss Evans I am afraid that the sword of Gryffindor did not accost me in my office last night. And you did not fail at all. The goal was to prevent Lord Voldemort from gaining access to the Eternal Spring, its power, and to prevent him from gaining access to the sword of Gryffindor. Although I still don’t know what he wants the sword, it can be rest assured that it won’t ever be found, which we can thank you for. You have done a better job at hiding the sword than I could do if I had even tried. Naturally I could have kept the sword in my custody and placed a variety of protective enchantments around it. But Voldemort would have eventually broken through any enchantment I would have placed around it.” Dumbledore was now more serene than he was when he walked in, but Lily was still incredibly agitated about what she did.
“But sir, it was foolish of me to even attempt Transvirtification. It’s immensely difficult to pull off even without the added environmental stressors I was working with. Why…” Lily immediately trailed off when Dumbledore placed up his hand and began rather coolly.
“Miss Evans, you are making too much of a fuss about this. We don’t have time to sit here and contemplate about the best source of action. What has happened, happened, no being can change that. But what I do need is an explanation of the night’s events and then I need to fill you in on what has happened while you were blissfully ignorant of the happenings of the world while waiting for me to arrive here. I admit, I did not expect you to know what had happened, but it is obvious that Voldemort was not successful in his endeavor to acquire the immortality he desires.” Dumbledore surveyed the other three and found them to be a little shaken up by the way he just reacted. However Lily didn’t seemed perturbed by it, but resigned defeat and hung her head in shame.
Quickly James, Sirius, and Remus launched into a very fast summarization of what happened. Dumbledore was the perfect listener and nodded when he wanted them to enumerate on something; but for the most part he sat quietly calculating his next plan. When they had finished speaking, silence permeated and hung thickly between the five of them. Dumbledore was much more distant and cold than any of them had ever remembered. What in the name of Merlin could have happened to cause Dumbledore to become so remote?
“Yes, it makes sense now. While you were preventing Voldemort from gaining access to the Eternal Spring he decided that he would invariably over power all five of you and gain his immortality that he believes he is entitled to. During the time he was attempting to gain even more power, he gave his Death Eater’s full authorization to take over the Ministry of Magic. Naturally a resistance occurred, but it is official, the Ministry has fallen.” Dumbledore was solemn and looked out the window at the waning moon, however if he had looked over at the four young people in front of him he would have seen an expression of pure terror expressed.
“THE MINISTRY HAS FALLEN!” James, Lily, Sirius, and Remus were all on their feet with the complete shock over the crushing news that was just delivered. “But if the Ministry has fallen…that just can’t be true. Without the Ministry, we just might as well place a bet on our will to live on the Chudley Cannons winning the Quidditch World Cup.” Sirius wry remarks made James and Remus wince while Lily looked blankly at Sirius who in turned sighed and began shaking his head in disbelief while faintly muttering something that sounded like ‘women’.
“Yes, the Ministry has fallen, but Sirius we haven’t lost our will to live. It’s not something you loose; its something that you willingly give away when there is perceived defeat. All is not lost yet, although there are more troubling reports than the Ministry succumbing to Death Eater control though.” Dumbledore was grim and omniscient. James had taken to pacing in circles just so that he had something to distract himself with. The Ministry has fallen….The Ministry has fallen…And now there is news that is even worse than this. Just what in the world was going on when we were fighting Voldemort? Being enamored in his thoughts, James had fallen prey to his bad habit of verbalizing his latent thoughts without realizing he was doing anything peculiar.
“That is definitely the question that is on the mind of practically every witch and wizard who isn’t serving him. Systematic takeover is what he had originally intended, that much is obvious, and that much has already been accomplished. Although now that he has supreme political authority within our government with his Death Eater’s marshaling his credence as law; he now has to find a way to have the system run. Naturally he does blackmail, extort, bribe, threaten, and bewitch where he can make allowances, but now that he is running the show he needs a way in order for the people to become too afraid to make any type of resistance. His solution to that was to call an envoy to the giants, unleash the Dementors from Azkaban, call forth an army of Inferi, and to use the preexisting forces of the Ministry to bolster his own ranks. The wizarding world has entered a military controlled world, the only place where he does not have a stronghold is here and that is because even with the might of the Ministry at his disposal, he knows that I have organized a resistance powerful enough to keep him at bay. Tom Riddle wouldn’t be so foolish as to attack here.” A hardness and steel was present that was so uncharacteristic of the Dumbledore that they had known. Well I suppose that in a time of war that one can’t be the jovial old man that he is.
“Well if Voldemort isn’t going to take over at Hogwarts, than what is it exactly that he plans on doing next? Plus, why wouldn't he attempt to take over here? It seems incredibly foolish for him to not do that-he could gain systematic control over the next generations of magic and have membership to the Death Eaters as compulsory after graduation.” Lily was looking out the window into the night sky, not daring to look at the others, especially James, looking back would admit her weakness, and Lily Evans was anything but weak.
“Allow me to correct myself. What I should have said is that Tom Riddle will not attack us right now, but I can guarantee that he will in the future.” Reaching inside his pocket Dumbledore withdrew a pouch and let it rest on the table and began examining it. It didn’t seem to be anything extraordinary on the outside; however no one knew what to make of the mysterious package. James scrutinized the pouch but didn’t see anything extraordinary about it, neither did anyone else.
“Sir, just what exactly is this about…”Remus was cut off when Dumbledore reached for his wand and split the package open letting the contents reveal themselves on his table. Suddenly everyone looked revolted and began sputtering incoherent exclamations at the grisly tidings the pouch had brought them.
“That can’t be….”
“I think I’m going to be sick…”
“What the bloody hell is someone sending you gouged out eyes for?” Sirius had to look away from the disemboweled organs resting on the table. He had always found a woman’s eyes to be the most alluring feature they had. The way that they shimmered and sparkled with life, yet retained mystery and intrigue just beneath the surface. He had always regarded the eyes as a window to the soul, and to see them so isolated, so dead, it made him cringe both externally and internally.
“It’s rather obvious what it means; it means that Voldemort has his eyes on us. Well, not his eyes, but you get the point. You do agree with me, don’t you sir?” Remus continued to stare at the lifeless eyes with no curiosity or abhorrence. In fact, he was not perturbed at all by what he was seeing. Glancing sideways he saw James turn around and join Sirius, clearly not feeling pleasant with the present situation either. However he was shocked to see Lily still standing there observing what the pouch had unraveled, but not being disturbed by the shocking revelations. In fact she was enamored with the barbarity and grotesqueness that this killer operated in. However, during this Dumbledore had not been looking at the eyes, but at a piece of parchment paper that had accompanied the eyes.
“I would not be so certain about your assessment Mr.Lupin. Miss Evans, if you would, give me your take about what this means. I think you’ll arrive to the same conclusion that I have once you have read this.” Lily walked over quickly and accepted the note from the headmaster and quickly unfolded the parchment internally steeling herself to the expected horror that it revealed. However, once she opened it up, her eyebrows raised sharply in surprise, but not in the way she had expected.
The living come with grassy tread
To read the gravestones on the hill;
The graveyard draws the living still,
But never anymore the dead.
The verses in it say and say:
"The ones who living come today
To read the stones and go away
Tomorrow dead will come to stay."
So sure of death the marbles rhyme,
Yet can't help marking all the time
How no one dead will seem to come.
What is it men are shrinking from?
It would be easy to be clever
And tell the stones: Men hate to die
And have stopped dying now forever.
I think they would believe the lie.
“Wow.” Lily had finally reached the end of the note and was amazed. She had thought she would have seen a picture of who the eyes belonged to or something grizzlier or an attempt at blackmail. She never expected to be reading poetry. Reading through the lines again she felt her mind spinning in confusion. I know this poem, I’ve read it a dozen times, but why can I not figure out who wrote it? Her neurons were heavily stimulated by the puzzle, the verses were forming a coarse image in her mind, yet she couldn’t refine it. After reading through it a third time it finally occurred to her what it was she was reading.
“There was no way that this could have been Voldemort. Yes, he does tend to be cryptic and puzzling, but this is poetry. Not only that-but it’s Muggle poetry. He detests Muggles; there is no way that he could actually consent to using one of their most influential authors to make a perceived threat. It’s also odd that whoever did this chose that particular poem. “In a Disused Graveyard” is not a threatening poem; in fact it merely discusses the philosophical reaction to death. The biggest fear of man is death. As much as man might try to tell himself, or in the case of this poem, the tombstones, that death among man has ceased, it will be a lie. Frost was showing his views of how this world is becoming so bad, and if we don’t be careful, graveyards will be disused because there will be no humanity left on this earth.” Lily finished slightly breathless from having spoken all of that at breakneck speed to the general astonishment of Remus, James, and Sirius who were all gaping at her and wondering how she could cram all of that information into her head. Well at least I finally did something correct tonight.
“So wait a minuet...let me get this straight. There is a person out there who is watching our every move, day and night, yet they are supporting us rather than threatening us like we thought they intentionally were? And if so, than why go to the trouble of gouging out a person’s eyes?” James had taken a seat in front of Dumbledore’s desk and was kneading his head with his knuckles as he attempted to wrap his head around the current situation.
“Well, I would almost agree with your assessment. There definitely is someone out there watching our moves, but their intent is dubious at best. Frankly they don’t ardently support us, yet at the same time this person isn’t out to kill us. In fact, I’m starting to see this as a warning. The Dark Side is watching us, and this person believes that if the affairs of mankind continue down this track that there will be no humanity left on this planet. He or she does not wish us harm, but merely to warn us that there are forces out there that are out to get us, us specifically.” Remus had turned away from the desk and the note and walked over to the window and gazed impassively at the night sky.
As he was leaving Sirius had gotten up and walked over to the desk and began looking at the cryptic message their mystery killer had left. Reading through he had to admit that Lily’s assessment of it was perfect, yet when he reached the bottom of the paper he noticed more scrawled handwriting. Hoping that he was seeing things he quickly said, “Lily I agree with out but could all of you come over here and tell me that I am having hallucinations. Because if I’m not than you missed something big.”
Quickly they all walked over and stood behind Sirius who still clasped the note tightly in his fist. Looking down to where he was pointing they realized that there was an extension to the message exactly two inches below the end of the poem. The same fluid handwriting left only five words.
One false move.