A/N: Well here I am. Finally I have managed to write a whole new chapter. I hope you enjoy this and thank you to all my loyal and supportive reviewers I hope this meets your high standards. Please read and review as without them I would not have been able to write this.
Chapter 15: Harry’s Disappointing Return
Lord Voldemort sat alone in his dark and majestic throne overlooking the empty room that lay before him. As he sat there a thousand thoughts were running through his mind as he contemplated everything that had gone on and everything that he was planning to do.
For Lord Voldemort knew that the final battle was approaching. He knew it wouldn’t be soon as both he and his nemesis Harry Potter no doubt had plans and moves which each would have to make before it could happen.
Luckily for Voldemort though his plans were already in motion, and well on the way to putting himself in a very powerful position to face of with Potter. For unbeknownst to anyone but himself the “chosen one” as everyone now called him was mistakenly in knowledge of some false information perpetuated by Voldemort and held as gospel by Potter and before him Albus Dumbledore.
This wrong information was of great significance as it would mean Voldemort facing Potter and his cronies fully protected by a horcrux, which no one knows about.
As Voldemort thought about this he allowed himself a small smirk at the small plan he put in motion a long time ago. When he returned he was aware that Dumbledore had discovered his secret of being immortal due to his horcruxes. He also knew that he would be doing all that he could to find and destroy the remaining ones so that Potter could face him mortal versus mortal.
However Voldemort knew Dumbledore would eventually find one or two of the horcruxes especially after the fool Malfoy practically gave away the diary. When the ring was destroyed as well by Dumbledore the Dark Lord knew that meant three of his six horcruxes were destroyed. With the knowledge about the heirs of the founders as well being the only ones who could touch the objects he knew it would only be a matter of time before potter found and destroyed the necklace of Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff’s Cup.
It was then that Voldemort decided on tricking the world and Dumbledore into thinking that Nagini the pet snake was the final horcrux. Snape was informed of this and like the good little envoy he was he let Dumbledore know of this.
Little did they know that this information would allow Voldemort the luxury of having one remaining horcrux left. Voldemort smiled again as he thought about the wonderful fact that the final horcrux, the Holy Grail to Harry Potter was something he could never imagine. For the final horcrux was something which he had come across long ago as a bright eyed 11 year old… the mirror Erised.
Just then Voldemort’s thoughts were disturbed by the entrance of his inner circle, Snape, Weasley, the Malfoy’s and Lestrange all kneeling before him waiting for his gratitude. He let them stay there for a while as he slowly composed himself before speaking.
“Rise my servants and tell me what news do you bring?”
“My Lord, our recruitment drive and training schedule has been completed. This means that we now have over 400 fellow death eaters awaiting your commands.”
“Excellent and what of our other allies?” replied Voldemort.
“The giants number 17, the Inferi are massing at nearly 300 and the dementors are reaching nearly a hundred with more of the way my lord” responded Snape feeling a lot better as he could feel his Master’s happiness wash over him and his colleagues as things were really starting to move in the right direction.
“Good, very good, the progress we are making is excellent. The plans are finally coming together and you my most able servants are exceeding all expectations. Now young Weasley I sense you have some news from the ministry?”
“Yes my master I do. I have recently discovered through one of my unwitting colleagues that the Minister as finally agreed to formally recognise the Order of Phoenix as a legitimate part of the fight against us. I fear this will result in me becoming an unwanted worker there my lord” replied Percy.
“Yes I suppose it will. Never mind you have achieved a great deal whilst you have been there and rest assured you will return when we rule the world”
“Yes my Master”.
“Now tell me Malfoy how goes your search for the missing wizards” asked Voldemort despite knowing the answer.
“It does not go well my lord. We still have no leads, information or sightings of Potter or his friends anywhere. It is like they have disappeared of the earth my lord, and to be honest I do not know how to proceed?”
“I see, well we will have to wait I think. If Potter does not want to be found well let him be for now. His absence is going a massive amount of fear and many are giving up hope. Send out the recruits as far and wide as you can tonight. I think a mass devastation is needed to further drive the hope away from the wizarding world.” Voldemort said as he allowed a small smile to creep across his face. “Now go and I will have you report first thing tomorrow”.
“Yes my lord” the inner circle replied as the bowed low and hurried out of the room. Voldemort again smiled as he thought of how well things were going although the continued absence of Potter was now gravely disturbing him as with no knowledge about him no real plans could be put into place to draw him out. Oh well, leave it be for now, maybe the destruction will force his hand thought the Dark Lord.
Harry and the rest of the Marauders were busy getting ready for the journey back to the real world and Grimmauld Place. Over the last month since each of them had passed the physical challenge set by James and Tonks. The training which the nine had all gone through were tough and at the moment were predominantly physical in nature building speed, agility, stamina, strength and flexibility as well as learning many forms of muggle fighting techniques such as martial arts.
The group had made some great progress with especially Neville coming on leaps and bounds as he grew in confidence as the days wore on. Harry thought about Neville and how much change he had gone through since the fateful day at the Department of Mysteries.
Gone was the shy, bumbling and frightful boy that Harry once knew. Gone was the lack of confidence that caused him the bullying which those damn Slytherin put Neville through, now stood a strong, confidence young man who relied on no one. Here was a boy who was standing on the threshold of his destiny. One in which he was running towards without hesitation.
Harry looked into Neville’s eyes and saw a determination a will and a desire to stand up and be counted in the upcoming war. What Harry saw also was a burning compassion, love he felt to Luna and the great friendship that Neville shared with him and this made Harry smile. Yes he thought with Neville and the rest Voldemort will not be able to stop us. We will be the unstoppable force, the immovable object the runaway train. Oh Voldemort you are going to wish you never started this because when I’m done with you, you will be begging for mercy.
“Err Harry why are you staring at me with that look?” asked Neville as he broke of Harry’s thoughts bringing back to reality with a bump.
“Oh sorry Nev, just thinking about everything that has changed and what still has to come. Didn’t mean to stare I was completely lost you know how it is.” Replied Harry.
“Yeah, yeah I know we have come along way…me especially I guess. I mean who would have thought that 6 years ago I would be performing so well in Auror trials and physical challenges and I owe it all to you Harry.”
“Think nothing of it and anyway if what my dad says is true you were always likely to end up like this as your dad was meant to be one of the best.”
“Thanks Harry, means a lot you know. Anyway what are you going to say when we get there?”
“I’m not sure, I don’t think I can tell them exactly what has gone on yet so I think a little talk make sure they continue working for the greater good.”
“You know they are going to be difficult to deal with especially the Weasley’s. They won’t want you to leave again.”
“I know and it is hard with Ron and all, but you know as well as anybody what needs to be done and when it really comes down to it they can’t really help..I mean I have my doubts about Hermione as well if I’m honest.”
“Doubts about Hermione son” interrupted James, “Can I ask why?”
“I don’t know, she’s not as strong as the others and even now despite everything she still so wrapped up in books and learning that I fear that she’ll get herself into trouble in the worst possible place.”
“I don’t know son but it is something to keep thinking about, but right now we have to move if were going to do this.”
“Right Dad, is everyone ready?”
“Yep” replied James, “just waiting for us three to join them”.
“Ok let’s go” and with that the three joined the other six and within moments the nine Marauders had all apparated away towards Grimmauld Place, London where they would be meeting once again with their old friends the Order of the Phoenix.
At 12 Grimmauld Place, the Order of the Phoenix sat in silence as they continued to wait for their leader Minerva McGonagall to speak. The only sound being made was the constant tick tock of the grandfather clock as it slowly passed the time.
Each member of the order had cold, stony expressions as they all waited silently waiting, watching the clock tick on slowly towards 9pm. For 9pm was the deadline, the cut off point where they would wait no more for Harry Potter and his missing band of friends.
The Weasley’s were particularly stone faced and anxious as the all waited in one corner of the magically enhanced kitchen which once belonged to Sirius Black. They all waited hoping against all odds that the boy they called their son, the hero of the wizarding world and the boy who had taken away their youngest daughter and only sister would return in time to lead the order into the final battle against Voldemort’s forces of evil.
Suddenly the all order was knocked out of their slumber and silence as a firm and fairly loud knocking was heard coming through from the front door. Within moments everyone was up and active bustling around in a state of frenetic action as the all prepared for what they hoped would be the return of the boy who lived.
It was Kingsley Shacklebolt the Head Auror who made his way to the door, with an enormous sense of trepidation which was not usually something that the intimidating man felt especially not when just answering the door. He reached the door and slowly opened it.
Standing before him was a motley crew of nine individuals all of whom he instantly recognised but being the cautious man he was he put his game face on and asked “Password Please”.
“The password is Voldemort is a half blood” stated the tall young man who was at the head of the group.
“Thank you, please follow me the rest our waiting, and may I say what a relief to see you back here and safe Harry. You have caused a great deal of worry which I have no doubt will cause you to get a lecture or two from shall we say a few red heads we both know”.
Harry smiled and replied “Yes I suppose so, now I take it that they are in the kitchen?”
“Yes come on we had better not keep them waiting any longer” and with that Kingsley led Harry and his companions through the long hallway into the kitchen.
As Harry entered he and Ginny, Hermione, Luna, Neville, Remus and Tonks were all immediately swamped by the members of the order, with huge hugs, kisses warm greetings as the pent up emotions of worry, anxiety, sadness and grief were all finally released on the hapless group of returnees.
Only the two strangers Andy and Catherine Baker were left alone in this moment of happiness. For as this was happening they just stood and watched and took in the scene in front of them with a slight tear in both there eyes as they witnessed the love that was being shared.
Suddenly though the group pulled away and Harry and the kids returned to Andy and Catherine and waited until the order had resumed their seats in anticipation of the announcement to come.
Once everyone was seated Harry stepped forward and cleared his throat to get everyone’s attention. As he did this, Harry surveyed the order members. The Weasley’s were all there waiting and hoping he was here to stay and this pained him as he never ever wanted to hurt them like this.
The others with the exception of Professor McGonagall were all really none of Harry’s concern but as he looked at McGonagall her face etched with grief, pain and suffering and most of all the strain of running not only the order but dealing with the ministry were clearly taking their toil on her.
“Well firstly thank you for the lovely welcome and the love you have just shown me. I guess you all know how much I appreciate gestures like that and it is a great relief to see that despite everything I have put you through that I can still count on you to make me feel loved, wanted and cared for.
However it does make this a lot more difficult for me to do as I can see and feel your hopes and expectations of me and I am afraid that I am unable to meet them at all. For you see although I do appreciate the trust and faith you are showing me by offering me the leadership of the order but unfortunately I cannot except as I have to do this my way and at the moment you and the ministry really can’t help me in what I have to do.
But before you say we can help, well I know you can and I need the help you can give although it won’t be with me at your side. For I need you and the ministry to really start harassing and fighting the death eaters and stop them from causing the devastation which is destroying our world. Until you do this I cannot do my job and get rid of Voldemort.
I am sorry I can’t offer you more at the moment but I will remain in contact this time and I can assure you that I will be working hard and making an impact. The time has come. The end of the dark days approach and the wizarding world shall once again know peace. So do what I have asked and hopefully next time we meet we will be celebrating. So Goodbye and fear no more” and with that Harry and his companions swept out of the kitchen out of the door and apparated away leaving the order shocked, bewildered and most importantly disappointed.
A/N: Well there you are, Chapter 15 and I really hope you enjoyed this. Please review and let me know, you guys have kept me going with this and I hope it meets your expectations.
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