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Chapter 14: The Eye of the Posterus
The bright early rays of morning light forced Harry to squint as he, Ron and Hermione tore down the long, empty corridor that led to the Headmistress’ Office. The threesome had wasted little time; on Boxing Day morning they woke early, grabbed a quick bite to eat and proceeded to enter the secret meeting room guarded by the portrait of Percival the Pompous that had once belonged to Regulus Black. They were holding on to the Snitch portkey in great anticipation minutes before it began to faintly glow blue. Remembering that the last memory sent to them by the unknown source had dealt with his parents, Harry was excited to view the second memory, hoping that its contents would shed some light on the mysterious and puzzling nature of the first memory and message.
Harry quickly asked the winged gargoyles for permission to visit the Headmistress’ Office. Without a moment of hesitation, the gargoyles happily obliged, resuming their banter about Peeves the Hogwarts poltergeist as if nothing had ever happened. The spiral staircase appeared in front of them as the early cracks of daylight continued to partially light the corridor. Silently, Harry ascended the steps, taking two at a time until he reached the door to the office, knocking lightly before the door magically swung open.
‘Ah, Harry... Ron, Hermione,’ Professor McGonagall said somewhat surprisingly as she saw Ron and Hermione follow up behind Harry. After a moment of hesitation, McGonagall nodded, glancing over at the pensieve on the far side of the room. ‘Oh... I see. Well, I did tell you three that you could you use the pensieve any time you needed it.’
‘If you wouldn’t mind, Professor,’ Harry said quietly. ‘It’s good to see you again. How was first term?’
‘Truthfully... each day gets better and better,’ McGonagall replied brightly. They seemed to have caught her off guard; her hair was not in the tight bun that they were accustomed to, but instead, it was pulled back in a sort of looser fashion. ‘Not even the attacks on the Ministry have been able to put a damper on all of our moods.’ McGonagall left her seat from behind the great oak desk, pacing to the front of it before changing her approach. ‘And how are the three of you doing? It’s fitting isn’t it... you three doing your part in rebuilding after all that has happened... after all you went through here. Still... as odd as this may sound... this school truthfully does miss you.’
Knowing that their old Head of House had never been particularly sentimental, neither Harry, Ron or Hermione knew how to respond to the Headmistress right away. However, after only a few seconds of staring at the expression on McGonagall’s face (one that they had rarely ever seen before), Harry knew where she was coming from. It was something that had occasionally popped in to his mind over the past year and a half, ever since he had left Hogwarts and had begun work at the Auror Office.
‘And we miss it, Professor. Sometimes... sometimes I wish we could go back to those moments where we didn’t have much to worry about other than making your classes on time and playing Quidditch. Life was much simpler back then when we were kids – now we’re just getting old,’ Harry finished with a laugh, to which McGonagall smiled.
‘Not as old as myself, Harry. You don’t even know the definition of what old is. When you get to my age, then you’ll feel old.’ Hermione and Ron laughed along with Harry, McGonagall slowly striding across the room as she made her way to the door. ‘That world that you spoke of Harry... the one where you don’t have to worry about the complex and dangerous things that you have to deal with today. The three of you are making it. Right now... Don’t let me down.’
McGonagall gave one last nod, winking at Harry as she tied her hair back up in her more familiar tight bun, turning away and leaving the office altogether. Harry felt a great sense of pride rise up from his stomach at McGonagall’s words, sharing a warm, small smile with Ron and Hermione as he saw the door close behind them.
‘Never thought McGonagall had the capacity to be so... reflective,’ said Ron once the door was shut.
Harry retrieved the small brown package from his inside pocket and placed it on the side table beside the pensieve. Looking up, he saw that Dumbledore did not currently occupy his portrait, his frame completely empty save for the dark background.
‘Oh, I forgot to mention the letter we received!’ said Hermione as she pranced over to the pensieve. Hermione was clearly full of the same excitement that Harry was currently feeling. ‘Neville’s parents have invited us to their home on New Year’s Day! From the invitation, it seems as if it’s a get together with all the people who they haven’t seen for... well, years.’
‘Brilliant,’ responded Harry who had honestly forgotten that Neville’s parents had been miraculously revived this past summer. ‘We’ll all go together.’
‘I’m sure it’ll be nice for them to see everyone... either again or for the first time, in our case,’ added Ron. Harry nodded, feeling happy for former schoolmate and friend who had endured so much over his childhood. Still, he could not help his mind from drifting over to his own parents, but it was at this thought that Harry was reminded of the task at hand.
‘I guess I’ll have to open that package then, if Hermione is right,’ said Harry, remembering Hermione’s suggestion that whoever had sent the memory had wrapped it in un-rippable paper, magically making Harry the only one would be able to open it.
‘And I am right,’ Hermione furthered with glee.
Harry tore off a strip of the brown packaging, a silvery glow emitting from the ripped edges for a split second. A very concise, warm and faint breeze whipped by his face as he did so, Harry continuing to open the un-rippable paper until all of it was torn away.
A few seconds later, Harry had done away with the wrappings, leaving them lying on the office floor in a small crumpled heap. Sure enough, the package contained a single glowing vial and a small piece of parchment wrapped around it. Harry handed this piece of parchment to Ron.
‘We’ll take a look at that afterwards – I brought some Swelling Solution along with me,’ said Hermione.
‘I’ll stay out of the memory this time and make sure that everything is alright out here while you and Harry dive in.’
‘Yeah you better because there’s no way I’m going to wait out here while the two of you get to view the memory first again,’ replied Hermione jokingly.
‘Ready then?’ asked Harry anxiously.
Hermione nodded excitedly, Harry quickly pouring the vial’s contents in to the pensieve. After a quick glance up at Ron and Hermione, Harry dove in head first, feeling the recognizable cool sensation rush by him as he sunk in to the pensieve. Hermione joined him inside the slowly materializing world of the memory a split second later, her eyes quickly meeting his before they began to feverishly scan the area while it gradually formed around them. After a few moments, Harry began to see that they were in some sort of bedroom; the room was small, cramped and was particularly messy. There were a few pieces of clothing littering the floor, the desk beside the window at the back corner overflowed with unused pieces of parchment, pens, textbooks and assorted wrappers. It was at this desk that Harry noticed a red-headed female figure who was sitting in a chair while she looked out in to the darkening sky through the opened window. The young woman had her back turned to where Harry and Hermione were standing, resuming her writing after shutting the window closed. Harry felt Hermione tug on the sleeve of his shirt as she stared out at the figure.
‘Harry is that you’re –’
‘Yeah. It’s my mother.’ Harry could not help but smile as he watched his mother erase something from the page she was writing on.
‘Lily! What are you doing all holed up here? Nearly everyone has arrived!’ came a calling voice from behind them.
Turning around, Harry saw a young man with jet black hair and glasses stride past them and in to the bedroom. He paused, resting his arm on one of the four bed posts as he smiled down upon Lily who had not looked up from her writings. Harry noticed that his father wore a simple gold ring on his left hand.
‘How are you feeling today?’ asked James softly, tilting his head to the side as he watched Lily write, his fingertips running along the smooth surface of the bedpost.
‘Don’t feel as sick as last week,’ Lily replied as she set down her pen and looked up at her husband brightly. As she turned around to face him, Harry was surprised to see that his mother had a particularly round stomach. He watched as she placed a hand on it and smiled, James smiling back at her.
‘I still don’t know how you were able to find that potion,’ said James who shook his head. ‘It’s not anything we ever learned about at Hogwarts... well, not that I’d know...’
‘No you wouldn’t,’ supposed Lily playfully. ‘I guess it pays off to have one of us actually attend the majority of our potions lessons.’ James chuckled briefly, but he quickly reverted back to a much more serious demeanor. He seemed to be at odds with himself, opening his mouth to say something, his eyes scanning the room without looking directly at Lily. Finally, whilst closing his eyes, he bowed his head and spoke.
‘Look – about the other day –’ he started but he was cut-off by Lily who made a face of protest.
‘You don’t need to say anything,’ replied Lily as if she had said this previously a hundred times.
‘Yes I do,’ James said incredulously looking up and in to Lily’s face. ‘I didn’t mean to pin anything on you. Sometimes I guess I get so caught up in all of this Order stuff that I sometimes forget to be a husband first. I want this baby – this family with you more than anything else in the world.’
‘Oh I know you do James! I’m the one who’s wrong, forget we ever even talked about it. It’s not that I don’t want to be a part of the Order or anything like that – it’s important for us to do our part. Like I always told you, we can’t just stop living our lives because of some Death Eaters – even if things have gotten much... much worse since then. But we cannot overlook the point that we are bringing another life in to this world and it’s going to need a mother and a father to be there for it! I guess things change once you start looking after more than just yourself...’
‘I know, I know,’ James said softly as he walked over to his wife, clutching her in a tight embrace. ‘Maybe it’s one of my faults or something. I just don’t want to bring our baby boy in to a world full of Death Eaters and Voldemort and war. Dumbledore thinks he has found a way to beat him – it’s really rather horrifying and I don’t even wholly understand it but if he is right... then I really believe we are getting close to ending this... and ending him.’
‘See all that sounds... great and all. But it’s not worth it – none of it is – unless you come back home to me and our boy at the end of the day. Just... please be careful James. I want us to all grow old... grow up together.’
‘And we will, I promise Lily.’
Harry watched his parents embrace again, Lily tightly squeezing her husband and holding him as close as she could. He felt Hermione move closer to him, feeling her eyes staring not at the memory of his parents in front of him but at him.
‘What?’ he asked Hermione in a whisper. Not saying anything, she reached out and touched his face with her finger, Harry noticing that when she retracted it, her finger appeared damp. Feeling his own face, he realized that he had shed a tear without even realizing it.
‘Who’s owl is that?’ James asked happily in an obvious effort to lighten up the conversation. Wiping the corners of her eyes, Lily turned back to her desk after releasing her husband. She looked out of the window to get a glimpse of the owl who was perched on the ledge.
‘Just a Ministry owl,’ she replied, quickly gathering together her scattered pieces of parchment that occupied the bulk of the desk’s surface. ‘Haven’t got around to paying it for the Prophet it delivered this evening.’ James nodded as he sat back down on the bed across from
‘Thought of any more names yet? I was asking Sirius for some help the other day. His top suggestion is Almerick.’ Lily’s eyebrows moved upwards, her eyes widening slightly.
‘Almerick Potter... how thankful I am that Sirius gets no real choice in the matter,’ said Lily lightheartedly. ‘I was looking at something more simple... like Harry, or something.’ James took a second to ponder Lily’s choice.
‘It’s alright I guess. Maybe it’ll grow on me.’
‘I’ll be sure to see that it does.’ James helped Lily out of her seat as he let out an exasperated laugh. ‘You sure I won’t scare away any of the Order members with my appearance?’
‘Stop it! If they can face Death Eaters, werewolves and vampires, I’m quite sure they can make do with you.’
‘Hey! That doesn’t particularly make me feel better!’ responded Lily after she slapped James lightly on the forearm.
‘You look beautiful, Lily.’ James kissed her on the cheek as they walked side by side out of the room. Harry glanced over at Hermione who nodded, the two of them following Harry’s parents down the small flight stairs.
Before they even got half way down, Harry and Hermione could hear many voices conversing from below. Looking out on to the first floor, Harry could see that there were around thirty or so Order members inhabiting the small kitchen area, the great number of people making the small kitchen look tinier than what it actually was.
‘I don’t know about you James, but I really cannot wait until you move in to your new home – it’ll sure make meetings held on your turn of the rotation much easier for all of us to attend.’ Harry knew whose voice it was before he saw his face. Gazing in to the crowd of people gathered around a single, long table, Harry quickly noticed a much younger but equally as ragged Remus Lupin.
‘Just two weeks until we get there Remus,’ Lily said, sighing as she found a seat beside James.
‘Is everyone here then?’ asked a short, red-headed, bearded wizard who Harry had seen in the Order photo. Though he was not sure, Harry thought that this man was Mrs. Weasley’s cousin.
‘No not everyone,’ replied Alice Longbottom. ‘Lily! My word, you’re nearly as large as I am now! At the last Order meeting I could have hardly guessed you were pregnant at all!’
‘Thanks for reminding me,’ replied Lily good-naturedly as she took her seat.
‘Peter’s not here yet... always bloody late that one,’ added Sirius roughly who was sitting on the other side of James.
‘Is Albus not attending tonight?’ asked Elphias Doge who looked around the table for an explanation. Someone at the far end of the table gave a short, tart laugh.
‘He’s probably out on his own business... too important he is for attending these meetings with the rest of us.’ Harry saw Aberforth Dumbledore sitting behind someone he knew to be Marlene Mackinnon, remembering her from the photo of the entire Order of the Phoenix that Sirius had once shown him.
‘Now Aberforth, Albus is the very reason why we have accomplished so much in the fight against the Death Eaters,’ said Lupin softly. ‘You and I both know how busy the man is.’ Aberforth merely snorted before leaning back in his seat.
‘Accomplished...’ he said sarcastically under his breath. ‘We haven’t accomplished anything until the battle is won!’
‘So did she like the name I thought of?’ Sirius whispered to James. Lily, without looking over, merely grinned and looked forward.
‘Er... no Sirius. She hated it,’ James put simply. Sirius’ eyes grew wide for a moment before he shook his head and smiled, looking over at Lupin who was sharing Lily’s rather amused look.
Then, the front door to the small house burst open and in scurried a younger version of someone who Harry had despised practically more than anyone else other than Lord Voldemort. The small figure rushed over to the only other empty seat at the table and plopped himself down in it, panting heavily as he attempted to catch his breath.
‘And where were you Peter?’ asked Sirius coldly, eyeing him with a look of great discontent.
‘Oi! I was... er... I-I lost track of time!’ squeaked Peter.
‘Good to see you Peter,’ Lily said softly as she rubbed her stomach, giving Sirius a wide-eyed look that told Sirius to stop his pestering.
‘Yeah Sirius. It’s not like you or I ever had the best attendance record at Hogwarts,’ James said while smiling mischievously, a smile that Sirius returned.
‘No you most certainly did not!’ teased Professor McGonagall, James shrugging his shoulders and smiling at his former Head of House.
‘Let’s not waste any more time!’ barked Mad-Eye Moody from the head of the table. At Moody’s words, everyone at the table quieted down in almost an instant. ‘First of all – Dumbledore is travelling abroad tonight. He told me to relate to all of you that if his voyage goes well, we may have a greater number of allies on our side. And he’s also set out to confirm his new findings.’
‘What new findings?’ asked a man named Benjy Fenwick, another Order member who Harry had seen in the old photo of the Order.
‘They are none of our business, Fenwick,’ retorted Mad-Eye sharply. ‘Dumbledore has made it clear that when the time is right, we will know.’ Harry saw his father stir uneasily in his seat, looking down at the table as Lily placed her hand on top of his. ‘He believes that what he has found is essential in bringing down Voldemort and his followers for good.’
‘Great. Now we’d all like to know what he found so that we can actually do something about it,’ Benjy forcefully asked. ‘In case you haven’t noticed, our numbers are dwindling. The time for secrets has ended.’
‘I’m sure none of you have forgotten about Dorcas,’ Hestia Jones said softly yet vigorously. ‘It’s foolish not to act upon new information if it means saving more of our lives!’
‘But it’s Dumbledore!’ a less round Mrs. Weasley said from down the table. ‘We must keep our trust and faith in him. If we don’t... then who or what can we trust?’
‘Molly’s right,’ said James confidently. ‘When Dumbledore thinks it’s ready for us to act, we’ll act. Until then, we’ve got to focus on what’s been asked of us. All of us would like to take action more.’ Harry felt proud of his father, even if he was in mere memory form.
‘Exactly,’ growled Mad-Eye. ‘That includes helping any half-blood or Muggle born witches and wizards in any way possible. How did your assignment fare Alice? Frank?’
‘Couldn’t have gone better,’ Frank Longbottom said proudly. ‘We casted the protective enchantments around the Weller household as per the tip provided for us by Sirius. We were able to stop the attack by a pair of Death Eaters and notified the Aurors.’
‘Good work,’ answered Mad-Eye. ‘It’s not wise of us to attack the Death Eaters straight on seeing as how our numbers are barely a quarter of what they have. Are there any other leads?’
‘Not presently,’ replied Professor McGonagall who had her hair tied up in her familiar bun. ‘Though I would advise against Mr. Black making any more attempts to spy on the Death Eaters for some time. It seems as if they are growing more suspicious of his alternate form. May I suggest that another one of our Animagi take up his role for the time being.’
‘You don’t have to look after me any longer Professor – I don’t attend your school anymore,’ growled Sirius. McGonagall gave no indication that she had heard anything Sirius had said and instead, she looked forward, directly at Moody.
‘She’s right Sirius. If the Death Eaters catch one of us spying on them then it would be catastrophic. They must always feel safe and comfortable, not on the lookout for a possible spy – that is the only way that we can truly extract information from them. You can join one of our other defense teams for the time being. Dedalus and Emmeline for now.’ Sirius lightly tapped his fist on the table and looked away from Mad-Eye in obvious frustration, clenching his fist and resting it on his chin.
‘As you wished Alastor, I’ve begun to use Polyjuice Potion to disguise my true identity whenever I am tending to my pub in Hogsmeade,’ Aberforth stated gruffly. ‘I don’t expect any Death Eater to come waltzing in to the Hog’s Head while... he... is so close by, but in the case that they do, I agree, it would be unwise to show them that I am in fact, a Dumbledore.’ Mad-Eye nodded while Elphias and Emmeline grinned at Aberforth’s statement.
‘Right. Well... shall we take inventory then?’ said Dedalus softly.
There was a brief, dead silence around the table. Harry watched the faces of all the members of the Order and saw that many of them instantly sunk. He watched as his parents took a sideways glance at each other, Sirius merely staring blankly at the long table that the Order was situated around. For a moment, even Mad-Eye seemed to lose his harsh outward demeanor as he quickly scanned the faces of the Order as Harry had done. However, with the light, delicate sound of the wind chime coming from outside the near kitchen window, Mad-Eye came back to his senses.
‘Agreed!’ he barked very loudly, many of the Order members, looking up quickly, seemingly woken up from their daze. ‘Longbottoms and Weasleys! We’ll start with your district.’ Frank cleared his throat, pausing for a moment before speaking.
‘Eleven...’ he said softly, though his voice carried throughout the kitchen, making it seem much more loud than what it was.
‘And how many of them were Muggles?’ asked Mad-Eye. Professor McGongall had summoned a piece of parchment and quill out of mid air, the quill magically scribbling something down on to the parchment as Frank spoke again.
‘Seven,’ he answered.
‘Dedalus and Emmeline?’
‘Four – Three Muggles,’ answered Emmeline.
‘Potters and Remus?’
‘Six. All but one Muggles,’ said James quickly.
‘Pettigrew, Fenwick and Mackinnon.’
‘TWENTY-SEVEN?’ Mad-Eye asked with a mixture of anger and shock in his voice. ‘Twenty-seven dead at the hands of a Death Eater in the past fortnight? What have you three been doing in your district?’ The trio merely shook their heads and looked down, Pettigrew quivering slightly at Mad-Eye’s forth righteousness. ‘And how many of them were Muggles?’
‘A-All of th-them.’
Mad-Eye swore very loudly, pounding his fist on to the table. Every member of the Order looked either defeated or angry, many of them wearing a look that seemed to be a mixture of both. Mad-Eye raised his hand to stop the conversation between the Order members.
‘We tried to stop them!’ exclaimed Marlene Mackinnon quite loudly as she talked over the side conversations. ‘They attacked a pub, Sunday last. We were severely outnumbered. They wiped out the entire establishment more or less!’
‘They don’t have souls these bloody Death Eaters! Evil, psychotic monsters!’ Sirius said, standing up out of his seat. ‘And you want me to stop spying on them because you think I’ll get caught? We need to take some risks if we want to stop them or else they’ll wipe out all of us sooner or later!’
‘And they’ll be quicker in doing that Sirius if you give us away to them,’ McGonagall said sharply.
‘Oh, so what you’re saying is that I’m not doing my job correctly, Professor?’ barked Sirius, Mcgonagall, turning around sharply, staring directly in to his eyes. ‘Is that what you’re saying? Because I assure you I want nothing more than to kill every last one of them!’
‘I realize that Sirius – I am merely saying to you as a warning that –’
‘Stop with the warnings! We have no time to worry about being careful –’
‘THAT’S ENOUGH! Both of you!’ interrupted Mad-Eye sharply. ‘You’re both right, but Sirius, being reckless is not going to get us anywhere! We don’t have the numbers to fight a fully fledged war with them – we have to use our brains not our brawn!’
Sirius stared across the table, his expression softening after a few moments. After sitting down and exhaling deeply, Sirius looked over at McGonagall and nodded in her direction. McGonagall locked eyes with Sirius for a split second moment, returning the nod stiffly.
‘As we discussed last time,’ Mad-Eye continued slowly, ‘next Saturday is our transport day. We need anyone who can be there to do just that – we’ll need as much help as we can get to ensure our mission’s success.’
‘Pardon me Alastor,’ Aberforth said as he raised his hand. ‘But neither Lupin nor myself were in attendance for the last meeting. I was unable to leave my pub and as I recall, the last meeting took place on the night of a full moon.’
‘Very well... Minerva – since Dumbledore told you directly of the situation, will you relate it to Aberforth and Remus?’
McGonagall flicked her wand, the parchment and quill placing themselves in one of her robe pockets. Surprisingly to Harry, instead of losing focus while McGonagall re-told the details of the mission, the members of the Order did the exact opposite. All of the side conversations stopped and strict attention was paid to McGonagall as if she was teaching one of her own Transfiguration classes at Hogwarts.
‘Ten months ago, as you know, we moved Nicolas Flamel from his home to a much safer location as per Dumbledore’s request,’ McGonagall began. ‘It seems as if now... Voldemort and his Death Eaters have gained some information as to where his location is. It has gotten to a point where it is no longer safe for Flamel to stay in his current position. Our mission is to once again successfully move him, this time, to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Though the Death Eaters will never be able to access the safe house directly unless Dumbledore – the Secret Keeper – tells them of its location, their presence in the neighboring areas has made it near impossible for us control the area. Voldemort has used his influence at the Ministry to somehow prohibit any use of the Floo Network over the surrounding area. He’s obviously got someone in the Floo Department at the Ministry.’
‘What’s he to us? I still don’t understand why we’ve got to risk our necks for Flamel,’ Benjy Fenwick interrupted.
‘It’s because that’s Albus’ buddy, that’s why!’ Aberforth called loudly. ‘He expects us to lie our lives on the line so that all of his friends can stay safe!’
‘Aberforth that’s not true!’ barked Mad-Eye.
‘With all due respect Alastor, what is true?’ asked Hestia Jones.
‘Exactly,’ furthered Elphias Doge. ‘I think it might be time for an explanation as to why Nicolas Flamel is so... imperative to our cause and Dumbledore’s plans.’
Mad-Eye looked over at McGonagall, a serious yet hesitant expression on his face. Harry saw his parents, Sirius and Lupin look at Mad-Eye and McGonagall in the same fashion as everyone else did, a clear thirst of knowledge in their gaze. Mad-Eye furrowed his brow and eyed everyone at the table as someone at the opposite end of the table coughed quietly. Harry could feel Hermione tense up beside him as they watched the scene in front of them.
‘There’s a reason why Voldemort wants Flamel,’ said Mad-Eye shortly. ‘Flamel is a powerful man – power is what drives the Dark Lord.’
‘And seeing as how he is the most powerful alchemist of all time, you can easily see why Voldemort so desires him,’ continued McGonagall.
‘The Philosopher’s Stone – I knew it,’ Dedalus Diggle sighed anti-climatically.
‘Of course not Dedalus,’ replied McGonagall piercingly. ‘Voldemort believes he would have no use for something that makes one immortal because he assumes... that he is immortal already. He believes he is too powerful to be killed by anyone or anything. Nor would he desire a stone that would save one from imminent death because Voldemort is absolutely certain that he will never face such a situation. His arrogance is his weakness. No, he is after something else... a magical property that he does not have but so desperately wants. And only Flamel can give it to him.’
‘What is it?’ asked Peter Pettigrew, his eyes wide, his bottom rising off of his chair.
‘The Eye. He’s after the Eye of the Posterus.’
There was a brief silence, a small, cold breeze entering the kitchen through the open window, the stars beginning to emerge in the darkening sky.
‘That’s rubbish...’ Sirius said quietly to himself.
‘Come on now,’ Fenwick said unbelievingly. ‘You don’t actually expect us to believe that the Eye of the Posterus actually exists!’
‘Well it’s what Albus Dumbledore believes, so that should be good enough for all of us!’ said McGonagall passionately. ‘It all makes sense, don’t you see? With the Eye, Voldemort will be able to see... everything! The past, the present... the future! Do you not see how dangerous it could be if the Eye fell in to Voldemort’s hands?!’
‘That’s if it even exists, Minerva,’ questioned Hestia. McGonagall looked crossly at the questioning stares that she and Mad-Eye were receiving.
‘You believe what you want!’ Mad-Eye said threateningly. ‘Even if the Eye does not exist, Flamel is extraordinarily powerful – it would not be wise for us to let him fall under Voldemort’s control.’ ‘Sirius and I will be there,’ James said loudly. ‘Whether or not that thing exists... it’s the right thing to do.’
‘I will be as well,’ added Frank Longbottom.
‘I as well,’ agreed Lupin. Aberforth stiffly nodded from his seat. ‘Good,’ McGonagall replied. She sighed deeply, continuing on very quickly. ‘Albus believes that there is such a thing. He believes that with the Eye of the Posterus under his control, Voldemort will be able to see everything. Things that no one else would know... even could know. Knowing what will happen before it actually happens is something that would make Voldemort... nearly invincible. So believe what you want – but I’ll be sticking by what Albus Dumbledore believes.’
‘Then why hasn’t anyone ever seen it? Why hasn’t anyone wrote about it?’ asked Elphias.
‘That should be obvious, isn’t it?’ replied McGonagall strongly. ‘He wouldn’t want anyone to know about it, now would he? Could you imagine how sought after he would be if he bragged about possessing a stone that could see in to the future? How many people would like to have the power of being all-knowing?’
‘Listen to you Minerva! You devote yourself so strongly to a myth!’ cried Fenwick. ‘Surely a teacher, such as yourself, who bases their career and life around logic and fact would know that believing something so outlandish is unwise! Watch... Remus – have you ever heard of the Eye of the Posterus before?’
‘Er... well I’ve heard about it before... the legend of the Eye is an old wives’ tale...’ Lupin answered, somewhat taken aback.
‘And do you believe it exists? Does anyone really believe it exists?’
However, a large booming noise stopped any member of the Order from answering. Harry noticed that the cool breeze coming from the window had stopped and everything was eerily silent after the echoes of the thunderous sound faded. Again, another even louder noise sounded, shaking the very foundations of the small house. James and Sirius slowly got up from their seats, their hands subconsciously reaching for their wands. A third booming noise nearly knocked them off their footing, a mug on the long kitchen table falling off the surface completely and crashing to the ground. A few of the pots and pans situated on the kitchen counter crashed to the floor, Mad-Eye looking out of the window behind him.
‘Everyone! We need to move! Right –’
Mad-Eye’s speech was drowned out by a horrible screech, the Order members covering their ears in pain. Without warning, jets of black smoke crashed through the house in every which direction, flashing lights obstructing Harry and Hermione’s view. Nearest to him, Harry saw Benjy Fenwick fly through the window beside the front door as more and more jets of smoke hurtled through the kitchen.
‘LILY! GET DOWN!’ Harry heard his father scream.
Along with Sirius and Lupin, James took his wife by the hand and led her out of the house amidst the chaos, carefully avoiding a curse that flew by his head. Lupin cast a shield charm around the four of them as they left the kitchen and made their way outside, the crashing noises and yells of pain filling Harry’s ears.
‘WHY DIDN’T OUR PROTECTIVE CHARMS ACTIVATE?!’ James yelled as he narrowly missed a nearby Death Eater with a hex of his own.
Harry could see more Death Eaters running towards the house, countless hexes being aimed in their direction. Lupin and Sirius fired a barrage of their own stunning spells back at the incoming Death Eaters, knocking a few of them down in the process. Behind them, McGonagall, Mackinnon, Hestia, the Longbottoms and Dedalus all made their way out of the house and fired their own spells at the incoming Death Eaters.
Emerging out of the sea of Death Eaters came a single stream of black smoke, four red jets of light shooting out from it and hitting Dedalus and Mackinnon in the chest which knocked them backwards. Frank Longbottom and Lupin shot their own spells at the cloud of smoke but missed, the cloud setting itself down mere feet away. As the smoke dissipated around the dark figure, Harry could tell instantly that it was Lord Voldemort.
Voldemort continued to walk forward, waving his wand swiftly to one side which knocked Sirius, Frank and Lupin backwards. The charging Death Eaters continued to fire their spells at the house which had now burst in to flames. He looked on as his father stood his ground, pointing his wand directly at the sneering face of Voldemort.
‘Stupefy! STUPEFY!’ cried James with all his might. His last curse caught Voldemort off guard, the Dark Lord having to quickly doge the curse that nearly struck his head. Voldemort’s smile vanished, a look of anger replacing it as he continued to stride forward, his wand held aloft.
‘Expelliarmus!’ James’ wand went flying backwards, Lily standing a few paces behind her husband.
‘Where is Flamel, Potter?!’ Voldemort asked violently as the rest of the Death Eaters stopped a few paces behind the advancing Voldemort.
‘You’ll have to kill me,’ James said strongly, looking directly in to the eyes of Voldemort.
‘Oh, I have no doubt that I will do that by night’s end. But I believe it would be wise that you tell me where the alchemist is... that is, unless you would like to see your wife die as well...’
James’ eyes grew wide in fear. He looked behind him to see a frightened Lily and his fallen Order members who had still not stirred after being cursed by Voldemort. James turned back and locked eyes with Voldemort once again. He opened his mouth to reply to the Dark Lord but interrupting him came a bright, blue explosion that erupted from the burning house. The light extended high in to the air and began to spread out around the house, encompassing a small area around it. The dome of light extended to the ground, finally touching the ground in between where James and Voldemort were standing.
Harry could see Voldemort looking around feverishly, calling to one of his Death Eaters over his shoulder, though he could not hear the sound of his voice. James looked shocked, turning around quickly to see a limping Mad-Eye exit the burning house.
‘He reset the defensive enchantments James,’ panted Lily.
Harry saw a single Death Eater emerge from the pack, stopping once he was standing beside Voldemort. He shook his head slowly, pointing at the dome of light that stood between Voldemort and James. Voldemort appeared to scream, tossing the Death Eater at the shield in his anger. Instantly, the Death Eater vanished, breaking up into many particles of blue light. Voldemort pointed his wand at the shield, screaming as he aimed a dozen curses at the dome, each one bouncing off and flying backwards in to the night sky.
After a moment, Voldemort turned back to James, a small grin growing on Voldemort’s face. James returned the look with a grave stare of his own. Gradually, the smile of Voldemort vanished as he began to dissolve back in to his cloud of smoke, his entire body disappearing from view a few seconds later.
Harry felt himself being tugged out of the memory. As he felt himself being whisked out of the pensieve, he subconsciously reached out with his arms, not wanting to leave his mother and father who stared out at the departing Death Eaters. Before he knew it, Harry found himself back in the Headmistress’ office, a concerned Ron looking directly at him.
‘So? What happened?’ he asked excitedly.
Glancing over at Hermione, Harry paused for a moment, recollecting himself before answering the inquiring Ron.
‘I think we have a few more things to talk about when we visit the Longbottoms on New Year’s Day.’