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Chapter 2: Death Eaters
None of the names on the class roster jumped out to him as possibilities for Adeline's daughter. But then again, she most likely wouldn't have Adeline's last name. He wished he could remember who she married all those years ago, but the information just wasn't there. He would find out her name when he took attendance.
Remus watched as the rest of the class filed in, chattering away about their summers. None of them, Ravenclaws or Gryffindors acknowledged the girl at the front table. She did not seem bothered by this. It reminded Remus of his first few weeks at Hogwarts. The girl continued to flip through her magazine, even after the bell rang and he began calling out names.
“Luna Lovegood,” he said when he was about halfway done with the list.
“Here,” the girl said quietly as she raised her hand and finally closed her magazine.
Luna Lovegood, that was her. That was Adeline's daughter, Remus was sure of it.
Adeline Mosley was the last one to enter Dumbledore's study, along with the other fifth year Ravenclaw prefect. Remus didn't know his name. James followed the two of them and sat down on Remus's other side. Dumbledore ceased his conversation with McGonagall and rose from the chair behind his desk. The room quieted and everyone, including the former headmasters in their portraits, paid rapt attention to him.
“I know it is not customary to call a prefects' meeting on your first night back, but I have pressing issues to discuss that cannot wait, especially considering what will be in tomorrow morning's Prophet,” Dumbledore began. “The Auror department has made some discoveries about the seemingly random attacks that have been taking place for the past two years.”
Dumbledore's expression was grave and he began to pace around his desk. He paused in front of Fawkes's perch and stroked the bird's head a few times before continuing.
“The attacks are in fact connected, as we have suspected all along. They are not random, but instead are carefully planned, most likely by a single individual. I have my suspicions about who this individual is, but I will not tell you until they are confirmed.
“What we have now confirmed is that the group behind the attacks are calling themselves 'Death Eaters'.”
One of the fifth year prefects gasped loudly. McGonagall averted her gaze downwards, and Flitwick shook his head. Remus swallowed and shared a glance with James, whose face was identical to Dumbledore's.
“They are pureblood supremacists.” Dumbledore's voice turned harsh. “Every single attack has been on Muggles or Muggle-borns. Their wish is to eradicate all Muggle-borns from wizarding society. They do not believe that Muggle-borns have the right to learn magic or live in our society.”
Remus glanced at Lily, who looked absolutely terrified. How anyone could think that Muggle-borns such as Lily did not have the right to learn magic was completely ridiculous. Lily was far more clever than half the purebloods at Hogwarts.
“Sir,” James said, “if you don't mind me asking, how did you discover this?”
“The Auror department captured one of these Death Eaters after the attack last week. They kept him in custody and he has given us information in exchange for a lesser sentence.”
“But the Prophet did not say that someone had been captured,” James pointed out.
“The Auror department did not want to alert the other Death Eaters and the man in charge to the fact that one of their comrades had been captured by the Ministry,” Dumbledore explained. “It will be in the paper tomorrow. Unfortunately the Death Eater refused to give the name of the man in charge.”
“But you know who it is, don't you, Professor,” Patrick Finn, a seventh year Ravenclaw, said.
“As I mentioned earlier, I have an idea, but am not going to say anything until I have proof,” Dumbledore said. “However, the man the Auror department captured did give other names, which is the main reason why I wished to speak with you.”
Remus glanced at James. James was staring intently at Dumbledore, his face hardened. James, being a pureblood, probably knew of many of these pureblood extremists. The Potters were very respected in the wizarding world.
“Many of the names this individual gave have children at Hogwarts,” Dumbledore said gravely. “Others graduated within the past few years. It is quite possible that you are familiar with them.”
“Are you going to tell us who they are?” Patrick Finn asked.
“No,” Dumbledore replied. “Nothing has been confirmed and I do not wish to start any rumors. The Auror department is working to round these people up and question them. It is possible that if many are caught it could increase tension amongst students. Especially between purebloods and muggle-borns, as well as the children of well-known Aurors. We need you to be aware and keep your eyes open. Report everything, as I am sure Miss Evans already instructed you to do.
“A word of caution. These attacks are not to be taken lightly. They have been building over the past few years and I suspect this man in charge has ties all over Britain. If we capture those who carry out an attack, he will find others to carry out more. There is no doubt in my mind that they will not stop until we find and capture him.”
“The Ministry is working on it, right?” Lily asked. Her voice was quiet and timid. Remus had never heard her speak like that before. Lily was always calm and confident, from the moment he met her when they were eleven.
Dumbledore nodded. “Yes. However, I am unsure of how long it will take.” He paused and seemed to glance at each person in the room in turn. “One final note before we all turn in. The Death Eater who was captured graduated five years ago. His name is Rabastan Lestrange.”
James gasped. Remus knew why. Rabastan had a brother, Rodolphus, who had married one of Sirius's cousins a little over a year ago. Rodolphus was a few years younger than his brother. Remus remembered the pair of brothers from their time at Hogwarts, and both had been quite foul. So had Sirius's cousin, Bellatrix, for that matter.
“It will be in the Prophet tomorrow,” Dumbledore said. “But let us worry about that tomorrow. I believe we all need some rest. Good night.”
The professors lingered to continue speaking with Dumbledore, but Remus and the rest of the prefects left. Remus walked back to Gryffindor tower with James and Lily, none of them saying a word. He noticed that James gave Lily a hug after they descended from Dumbledore's study, and she reciprocated.
The common room was practically empty when they arrived, the fire having died out a while ago. Sirius, Peter, and Alice were still there, though, sitting in the squashy armchairs in front of the fire. Sirius stood as soon as they entered.
“They figured out the attacks are connected,” James said. “All coordinated by one bloke and their goal is to get rid of muggle-borns and half-bloods.”
“Shit,” Sirius said. “Shit, that means my family's involved!”
Remus glanced at James. It was something he had been thinking throughout the meeting with Dumbledore, but he had not voiced his concern to James.
“You don't know that for sure-” Alice began.
“Yeah, yeah I do,” Sirius cut her off and began pacing the room. “They'd love nothing more than if there weren't anymore muggle-borns. How did Dumbledore find all of this out anyway?”
“The Aurors captured one of the Death Eaters,” James said quietly. “It's going to be in the paper tomorrow, but...” James's voice trailed off.
“But what?” Sirius asked. “Tell me, James.”
“It's Rabastan,” James said. “He's the one they captured.”
“There's a surprise,” Sirius said sarcastically. “My idiot cousin married into a family even worse than the Blacks. I'm sure her husband's a Death Eater, too.”
“I'm going to bed,” Lily said suddenly. “I'll see you all in the morning.”
James made a move to go after her, but then stopped. He sighed and ran his hand through his hair. Once Lily had disappeared behind the door to the girl's dormitories, James turned back to the group.
“She's scared out of her mind,” he said quietly. “She's tried to hide it but I think knowing that it's an organized group whose goal is to get rid of muggle-borns is just too much.”
“Who can blame her?” Remus said. It scared him, too. “No one's safe. None of us. Sirius deserted his family and James is a pureblood but they're going to hate purebloods who like muggle-borns as much as they hate muggle-borns. As for the rest of us, our blood certainly isn't pure.” Remus wasn't even sure he wanted to know their stance on werewolves, but he had a feeling it was similar to their stance on muggle-borns.
“All the more reason to get out of here and become Aurors so we can stop this,” Sirius said quietly. “We're not going to be able to do anything stuck in this castle.”
Alice nodded. “I'm heading to bed, too.”
Remus and the other three boys said good night to Alice and then ascended to their own dormitory. It was familiar and Remus was glad to be back, but he couldn't shake the uneasy feeling that had plagued him since the train ride. He wasn't sure whether it was the Death Eaters or not knowing what he would do when he left school. Probably both, he thought as he climbed into bed. Luckily, he was too exhausted to think much about it and drifted off to sleep quickly.
The next morning Remus walked to the Great Hall with James, Sirius, and Peter. When they arrived he noticed that everyone in the room was sitting in small groups, surrounding copies of the Prophet. Lily and Alice were already at the Gryffindor table and had a copy of the paper between them. Both girls were reading and their breakfasts remained untouched on their plates.
Remus and the other boys sat down across from them and waited until they were done with the paper. Sirius scooped some eggs onto his plate but didn't eat them. James kept glancing over to the Slytherin table, the only table in the room that was not focused on the Prophet. In fact, the only bloke at the table looking sullen was Sirius's younger brother.
Remus poked Sirius in the side and nodded to the Slytherin table. “Regulus looks upset.”
Sirius shrugged. “Not my problem. It's probably because the rest of his awful friends graduated last year. I'd bet my broomstick that they're all involved with the Death Eaters.”
“And Regulus?” Remus asked quietly.
“No, not him,” Sirius replied immediately. “My parents will no doubt agree with what the Death Eaters are doing but I'm not sure they'd want to get involved with carrying out the dirty work.”
“Well, Snape's still here,” James muttered as Snape joined Regulus at the Slytherin table. “Think he's involved?”
“If he's not already he will be as soon as he graduates,” Sirius said.
“You lot want to read this?” Alice asked as she handed Remus the paper. She and Lily looked shaken.
Remus held the paper out in front of him and read. James, Sirius, and Peter crowded around him.
Months-Long Investigation Revealed
Head Auror Alastor Moody spoke late yesterday of a six month
long top-secret investigation the Auror department has carried out.
The goal of the project was to discover information on the mysterious
attacks that have plagued wizarding Britain over the past two years.
The project culminated last week with the capture of one of the
'The attacks are all connected,' Moody said to reporters. 'We believe
they have been coordinated by one individual and carried out by
a team of followers that call themselves the “Death Eaters”.'
Perhaps even more shocking are the motives of these Death Eaters.
Aurors revealed that it is a group of pureblood supremacists who
believe that magic should be limited to pureblooded wizards only.
This information was confirmed by the captured Death Eater, who
refused to give up the name of his leader. Rabastan Lestrange, 21,
is currently being held in Azkaban prison where he awaits trial
'I wish to be clear that this is by no means over,' Moody said. 'If
anything, it is only just beginning. There are many more Death
Eaters on the lose, not to mention their leader. The public needs
to keep their eyes open and their wands on them at all times.
Report any and all suspicious activity.'
“No new information in there,” Remus said when he finished. “Just confirms everything Dumbledore told us last night.”
“Look at Lestrange,” Peter said. “Looks a whole lot different than he did when he was at Hogwarts.”
Peter was right. He looked like he had aged at least five years. His hair was long and stringy, his face covered in stubble. The sneer on his face gave him a truly evil look, far from the arrogant schoolboy look he had when he was at Hogwarts.
“Timetables!” McGonagall suddenly said from behind them.
Remus startled and dropped the paper, nearly spilling his goblet of juice. He had almost forgotten that it was the first day of classes.
“Mr. Lupin,” McGonagall said as she handed him his timetable, then moving on to his friends.
Remus glanced at the piece of parchment. He was continuing with the same classes he had taken in sixth year, which gave him quite a few free periods. Today he had Transfiguration right after breakfast, then Herbology, a free period after lunch, and then Care of Magical Creatures.
“Double potions this afternoon,” James said. “Lovely way to start the year. Bet we have some sort of contest that Snape will win.”
“Your fault for choosing to stick with potions,” Remus pointed out.
“I had to. You need potions to be an Auror.” James sighed. “But Transfiguration first. At least we can start with something easy.”
“Are you kidding?” Peter exclaimed. “Transfiguration's not easy. And McGonagall's going to slam us with homework.”
“That's nothing new,” Lily said as she swallowed her last bite of toast. “We'd better get going, though.”
Remus shoved a final piece of bacon into his mouth, grabbed his bag, and followed his friends out of the Great Hall. They made their way through the castle, stopping to tell a first year where Potions was, and made it to McGonagall's classroom before the bell rang.
“How do you not know that the dungeons are in the basement?” Sirius said as they sat down at the back table. “It just doesn't make sense.”
“He was a first year,” Lily replied as she pulled a quill and pot of ink out of her bag. “Maybe he didn't know that Potions is in the dungeons.”
“It says 'dungeons' right on the timetable,” Sirius muttered. “They get dumber every year...”
Lily sighed loudly and slammed her book on the table a bit louder than necessary. James glanced at her and then turned to Sirius.
“Lily's got a point. Lighten up a little,” James said. Lily smiled and Sirius smirked at James.
McGonagall walked in the room and shut the door behind her. She looked slightly more stressed than the previous night which was not a good sign for Remus and the other seventh years.
“Welcome to seventh year Transfiguration,” she began. “I wish I did not have to remind you of your N.E.W.T.s in June, but previous years have taught me that students rarely develop proper studying skills by their seventh year. So, again, I shall remind you of the importance of these exams. Most, if not all, of you need at least an 'exceeds expectations' on your exam in order to qualify for the job of your choosing. If you follow my instructions, do all of the homework, ask for help when needed, and learn from your mistakes I guarantee you will achieve that mark.
“The homework will increase this year, starting with today. I am not sure where students get the impression that seventh year is a time to slack off and ignore classes. If anything it is the most important year of your Hogwarts career. For tonight I ask that you to read the first two chapters of the book and write down three questions you have as well as a foot of parchment explaining what you learned. Now, if you have not already, take out a quill, ink, and parchment. Today we will begin to learn about human transfiguration....”
The rest of the day proceeded much like Transfiguration had. Professor Sprout was slightly less intense about homework and N.E.W.T.s than Professor McGonagall, but Remus still had to pay rapt attention in Herbology in order to understand what was taught. Care of Magical Creatures was the exception, however Remus suspected that the reason they spent the day looking after crups was that Professor Kettleburn lost another two fingers from his left hand and could not open the container of crup food or successfully hold his wand.
James, Sirius, Lily, and Alice arrived at dinner full of complaints about Potions. Snape won the brewing competition, as was expected. Even Lily seemed irritated by this which was unusual.
“Snape seemed awfully happy about something, too,” James said quietly as he spooned gravy onto his potatoes. “Snape's rarely happy about anything, but today he was.”
“Weird,” Remus said. “You'd think he'd be angry about Lestrange getting caught.”
“Maybe something awful's happened that we don't know about yet,” James muttered and turned to Sirius. “You should ask Regulus.”
“Regulus is not a Death Eater,” Sirius snapped. “He might be friends with Snivellus but even my idiot brother wouldn't be dumb enough to become a Death Eater.”
James muttered an apology under his breath and the group settled into uncomfortable silence. Remus had suspected Sirius's brother of being mixed up in Dark activities for the past year, but unlike James, he didn't bring it up with Sirius. While Remus thought it odd that Sirius refused to accept what was right in front of him, at the same time, he could understand why he was clinging to that last bit of hope. However, what Remus thought even odder about the whole conversation was the fact that Lily did not once deny Snape's involvement with the Death Eaters.
A/N: Thanks to everyone who read and reviewed the first chapter! I've taken a few liberties with Rabastan. It was never said whether he was captured prior to being captured for torturing the Longbottoms, but I wanted to use a Death Eater that readers would be familiar with. He will still be captured for torturing the Longbottoms. You'll just have to keep reading to find out how!