Chapter 1 : Four Houses
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He took a step back and softly whispered, "Not yet." The tunnel faded and the Former Hogwarts Headmaster turned his attention towards three particular students who had given him plenty of trouble, but did him proud.
Harry Potter walked sadly away from Ginny Weasley. His heart was broken, he would have wanted her to be by his side but he knew he could not risk that. He knew that he would not be able to take it should something happened to her.
Ron and Hermione looked at one another and ran after their friend.
“Harry!” Ron called out to his friend.
Harry didn't turn around to face his friend, “I had to do it, Ron. It’s safer for her this way. If I survive this, I do hope that she would still want me, but now I have to do this.”
“I know that mate. We both do. But, you don’t have to go through this alone.”
“Ron, I’m sick of having people try to protect me and see them fall one after another - my parents, Sirius and now Dumbledore…” He closed his eyes and remembered those who loved him, people who were now gone.
Hermione place a hand on Harry’s shoulder. “Harry, we can’t protect you; we’re not guardians. But we wish to stand by you because we’re your friends.”
Ron nodded. “This burden may be yours and yours alone, but let us help, as your friends.”
Harry gave his friends a smile.
Albus Dumbledore looked up at the sky above. “Godric, here before us are your Soldiers of Light.”
The sun has just started to set as Albus entered the Ravenclaw Common Room. A girl with dirty blond hair stared dreamily onto the fire, a quill in her hand.
I am happy to hear that you’re finally making progress in your search for Heliopaths…
She felt a shadow above her and looked upwards. Dreamy blue eyes met almond shaped ones. “Hello Cho.”
The older girl took the seat beside Luna, although surprised by this, Luna Lovegood continued to write her letter.
“It’s all coming down, you know,” she said softly.
“Hmmm?” Luna stared at the fire, unable to discern what the other girl meant.
“First Cedric and now the Headmaster; this school is not safe anymore.” Tears welled up her eyes as she murmured: “The next time it’ll be different. I won’t be standing in the sidelines not knowing what and how these things happened. I’ve been reading up on everything I can get my hands on… practicing…when my time comes …don’t know if I’ll survive, but at least I’ll be ready.”
Luna nodded. “I do miss our DA; I learned a lot there.”
The other girl nodded. “Do you know that Inferi are afraid of fire?”
“Heliopaths would naturally drive them away,” Luna mused dreamily.
Cho shook her head. “Those things do not exist.”
“If you believe things to be impossible, then they will be impossible. Believing is the key to make things possible and real.”
Cho nodded in understanding as both girls continued to stare at the crackling fire in front of them.
Albus Dumbledore walked away and watched as the sun gave off its last few rays over the horizon. “Rowena, your Scholars sit by that fire so bright.”
Albus knew this place well; it was here where he first came upon Tom Riddle. The large house seemed abandoned now but the one he seeked was inside and so were a handful of Death-Eaters. He entered, walked past the corridor and into a room.
Draco Malfoy sat by the window staring up at the stars above.
“Starlight; Star bright …
First star I see tonight…
I wish I may; I wish I might…”
Tears welled up his eyes as he kicked the stool; he sat on the floor and mumbled: “I’m so sorry...”
The Dark Mark burned. He closed his eyes and remembered how proud he was upon receiving it. He had thought that he was on his way to follow his father’s footsteps, to be high up on the Dark Lord’s chain of command.
Now, he got what he had wanted didn’t he? He gained the respect of the Dark Lord and his fellow Death Eaters. He didn’t even have to kill Dumbledore; even so, he felt empty.
Albus walked up to the boy and whispered in his ear, “All is not lost Draco, my offer still stands. You are not a killer.”
Grey eyes widened and looked about. He stood up and watched the stars once again, eyes hardened in determination. Yes, he made a grave mistake, but hope is not lost. He still has a chance to make things right.
Albus Dumbledore smiled, for now he knew that this was the reason as to why he extended his stay. A tunnel of light once again appeared before him, it beckoned him. He gave one last look towards his lost one and whispered. “Salazar, your cunning Strategist will find a way.”
The Former Headmaster entered the tunnel of light. He was met by a familiar figure who stood at it's very end. “Cedric?”
“Hello Headmaster, I’ve been waiting for you for a while now.”
He gave this former student of his a sad smile. This was a young man who was full of promise. A beacon of light that was taken away far too soon. “My boy, I never got to apologize; you were far too young...”
The young man raised a hand and shook his head. “Don’t sir. I did what I had to do.”
“But, you shouldn’t have been in that predicament, you …”
“Given another chance I would have done the same thing all over," he smiled brightly, "Harry had to survive. Each of us, no matter how small our part are important in this fight - to ensure that the Dark Lord will be defeated. It will come to pass I have faith in that.”
Dumbledore smiled his admiration for this particular young man was not unfounded. Moreover he underestimated his generous spirit. “Helga, your steadfast Workers are true to themselves. They go beyond their calling each and every day."