Chapter 2 : Identification
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The Leaky Cauldron. Charlie read to himself. Standing in front of this small, shabby-looking inn, he was convinced that this was a good place to start. Having insulted the Dark Lord Voldemort and his father, Charlie knew that it wouldn’t take long for those Death Eaters of his to find him. Someone in this inn should know something about this Order of the Phoenix.
Sandwiched between a record shop and a book store, Charlie observed as muggles of various looks and sizes walked past the inn. Oblivious to the contents of this quaint bed and breakfast. Charlie quickly steps inside where he becomes amazed by the large volume of business. He had half expected it to be empty. Instead, he found the pub filled with various witches and wizards all enjoying there own ales and teas.
Surveying the inn, he quickly stumbles upon a young man and woman sitting at a table on the far side of the room. The boy, with messy black hair and deep green eyes, peered through a pair of round glasses at his female companion. Never taking off of this red-haired girl with brown eyes, Charlie assumed they must be a couple. Fitting the description of the one he had read about, Charlie decided to move in closer. Just as he was about to reach them, the two of them get up and walk to the back of the pub. Charlie quickly follows them.
The two of them exit the inn from a back door into an alley. Finally, Charlie had his chance to find out who this man is. The back alley dead ends; they must have wanted to be alone. As he followed closely behind them, they suddenly stopped at the end of the alley. Staring at the brick wall, Charlie couldn’t help but think: What? Have they never seen a brick wall before? Taking out his wand, Charlie watched as the boy tapped on the brick wall. Right before his eyes, he saw the brick wall fold back to reveal a portal. The two young adults pass through the portal into another alley hidden from the muggle world.
Without wasting time, Charlie dashed for the wall and barely made it inside before the wall closed itself. Standing at the mouth of this large hidden alley, he looked up at a nearby street sign. It read: Diagon Alley. Glancing back up the street, he saw his two marks and continued his pursuit of them.
Charlie couldn’t believe his eyes. The many different shops, selling many different items. From clothing, to Quidditch supplies, to candy, even pet stores. It must be a spell. He thought. There was no way all of this could exist in the small amount of space behind the Leaky Cauldron.
Where are they going? He thought. He had been following them for half an hour already and they haven’t entered any of the shops. Chalrie was starting to get mad, when something caught his eye. Another street sign. This one read: Knockturn Alley. Charlie’s jaw drops. This is THE Knocturn Alley. This is the infamous alley that his father’s favorite company is located. Borgin and Burkes. Charlie’s father gets all of his cursed knickknacks and special ingredients he uses in his dark incantations. When I get a chance, I should check out that alley. He thought to himself. Looking back up he noticed that his two marks disappeared.
“Damn it!” He exclaimed.
Harry and Ginny were having a wonderful day. Not worrying about school or Voldemort, just spending the day with each other. Harry’s heart raced like an Olympian as he held Ginny’s hand in his. Whenever he was around her, it felt like the rest of the world bled away until there was just him and her. He loved Ginny, but was too nervous to tell her so. The obvious reason being the constant threat of the Dark Lord, but also he was afraid that kind of information would have been too much for her. Yeah, she had a crush on him since their first meeting, but that was just a crush. They have been dating for over a year now, but how did she feel about him?
Harry told Ginny at the end of his sixth year at Hogwarts that it would be too dangerous for her to remain with him. That she would be better off staying away from him until this thing with Voldemort was over. Not two minutes after that conversation did Ginny slap the tar out of Harry and told him how crazy he was. She wasn’t going to let Harry face this evil alone. None of them were. For once in his entire dismal existence, Harry has the best friends any guy could ask for.
“Where would you like to go first?” Harry asked Ginny as they slowly walked up Diagon Alley.
“Let’s go to Fred and George’s. Fred told me about some new gags they invented. Let’s go see them.” She replied. A smile surfaced on her face. Harry was always able to bring a smile to Ginny’s face. Ginny loved Harry, but wasn’t sure about him. She assumed that with the looming threat that he would distance himself from her if he knew. Loosing Harry was the one thing that she couldn’t stand to lose.
“Okay.” Harry replied.
The two of them head off toward the Weasley’s shop, oblivious to everyone but themselves. Suddenly, two Death Eaters apparated in front of Harry and Ginny. They quickly reach for their wands, but one of the Death Eaters was too quick for them.
"AVADA CADAVRA!” The Death Eater screamed. Without warning, Charlie tackled both Ginny and Harry hard knocking them both out of the way of the killing curse.
“Stay down!” He cried. Poking his head above a wooden crate full of fruit, another spell blast was shot at his head. Charlie rolls out into the open, dodging the blast. “Crucio!” Charlie yelled hitting one of the dark wizards square in the chest. The wizard collapsed to the ground in pain. The other Death Eater then turned his sights to the meddler.
“Stupefy!” Harry yelled just as the other Death Eater had raised his wand to curse Charlie. The second dark wizard became confused and dropped his wand. Charlie released his torture curse on the one wizard and returned to Harry and Ginny.
Slowly rising in agony, the dark wizard grabs the stupefied wizard and apparated with a loud Crack! Alone, again, in the alley, witches and wizards began to reemerge from their hiding places. Harry, bending over Ginny, mended a wound on her knee.
“Is she okay?” Charlie asked as he knelt down next to them.
Harry and Ginny looked up into the eyes of this American wizard and thought to themselves: Who is this man? He used the torture curse on that Death Eater. Can he be trusted?
“Yes. She is fine. Who are you?” Harry asked quite angrily.
I am one who is in desperate need of your help. Charlie said to Harry in Parseltongue.
Harry, understanding every word, replied: You can speak Parseltongue?
“Then you are the one I am searching for. My name is Charles Richardson III, but my friends call me Charlie. You must be Harry Potter. I have read so much about you.” Charlie replied in English.
“What do you want?” Ginny asked in fear.
“Your help.” Charlie answered.
“Why should we trust someone who speaks Parseltongue and freely uses the unforgivable curses?” Ginny asked suspiciously.
“Not every wizard who has that gift is dark. Besides, I am not asking you to trust me, merely to help me.”
“Why should we help you? For all we know you could be one of Voldemort’s Death Eaters trying to infiltrate the Order.” Harry added.
“Ah, yes. Voldemort. The pompous freak my father introduced me to last night. That arrogant fool thinks he is the greatest wizard of all time. I can’t expect you to trust me, not right away. I do, however, hope you will trust me when I say that I would never align myself with someone who uses his magics to achieve his own desires. I came to you in good faith. I don’t have much time to waste here with you. It won’t be long before more of those Death Eaters show up again. This time they will be looking for me. I need the Order’s help. Please, I need your help.” Charlie pleaded.
Harry helped Ginny to her feet and they embraced each other tightly. After a moment in each other’s arms, Harry peered into Charlie’s eyes.
“What do you have to offer the Order of the Phoenix?” Harry asked.
“I come from the most powerful wizarding line in America. I am skilled at potion making and transfiguration. I have extensive knowledge in the Dark Arts. I would be able to tell you what Voldemort’s next move will be and what he would need to achieve it. I am a valuable asset and to not use my talents would be a waste. So, what do you think? Do I pass? Will you help me or not?” Charlie ranted.
“Americans. There is no need to be rude.” Ginny added as she buried her head in Harry’s chest.
“I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be rude. I just don’t have a lot of time.” Charlie apologized.
Harry held Ginny tightly as he thought things over. Finally, Harry came to a conclusion. “Okay. We will take you to the Order, but I will have to cast a blindfold hex on you. We can not divulge the location of the Order’s secret meeting place. Also, you must present yourself before the entire order. It is they who will decided yes or no to help you. Those are the terms. Take them or leave them.” Harry explained.
“I agree.” Charlie replied.
Charlie closed his eyes as he felt the tip of a wand touch his temple. After the wand was removed he opened his eyes. All he could see was darkness. Pitch black darkness. As Harry and Ginny escorted him out of Diagon Alley, Charlie’s mind wandered to his father. Please be okay, dad. I will free you soon, I promise.
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