AUTHOR'S NOTE: To all my readers I am extremely sorry for the very, very long wait. I had massive writers block at the start of last year, and then I lost inspiration for the story. Hopefully I will be back with regular updates, but i don't want to push anything. It's a nice long-ish chapter for you.
When the student body had returned to classes everything became hectic again. Harry was beginning to think that he had taken on more responsibility than he could handle and was extremely glad that Ron was managing to keep up with his workload. Hermione had even helped him out for lesson plans even though she was technically a student.
The marauders were forever complaining about the amount of homework they received, and just for punishment Harry decided to give them more than everybody else. He told them that they need to learn how to juggle responsibility and balance between homework and fun. All but Remus disagreed.
This was helped along by the fact that Lily had ignored James for two days after he had missed deadlines for two of his classes. She had pointed out that he was Head Boy and needed to show responsibility, and he should be someone the younger years looked up to. James managed a reply which sounded like ‘Yeah, because I have you’.
It was soon the last week of January and the Marauders, Harry, Ginny, Ron and Hermione were nervous because Lily’s birthday was at the end of the week. Each had bought her a little token, well most were little. Sirius had joked that James’s was the size of Texas only to be hit in the face with a cushion, and a cushion fight similar to that at Christmas ensued. Feathers ended up everywhere and they only managed to stop after McGonagall walked in.
“Oops, sorry Professor,” James said looking slightly worried at the stern look on his teachers face.
“It’s okay Mr Potter so long as you repair it,” Turning to the trio she said “Professor Dumbledore would like to see the three of you in his office immediately, apparently there is an important matter he wishes to discuss with you. I shall see you all in the morning.” Professor McGonagall said as she left.
Sirius’s brow knotted and he looked as if he was concentrating hard on something. “What do you think this ‘important matter’ is Harry?” Sirius asked.
“It’s probably something to do with Voldemort. I imagine he would like to talk to me about what happened over Christmas as well as whatever is going on now. I wouldn’t worry too much though; there is no way Dumbledore would ever send any of us out on a mission in this time in case we got hurt,” Harry replied wondering why Dumbledore had only summoned him, Ron and Hermione and not Ginny.
Turning to the others he said “I think we should go now, we don’t want to keep him waiting,”
“See you tomorrow guys and Gin don’t wait up for me,” Harry said walking out of the portrait last. He had to jog a small way to catch Ron and Hermione up.
“Hermione and I were just talking about why Dumbledore could possibly want to see us for. We know it must be to do with what you told the Marauders, but you really don’t think it could be to do with a mission? I mean we are Auror’s and we have you know done the ... err... extra credit stuff,” Ron said slightly timidly.
“I don’t know really I only said that to convince them that it would be okay and that they did not have to worry about us. I cannot see Dumbledore sending us into that at this time though; especially after what happened after Christmas,” Harry replied.
A silence followed this. Ron and Hermione were both told about the attack from Dumbledore when he first heard about it. Although he had assured them that Harry and the others were perfectly they still fretted over his and Ginny’s safety. Many questions were asked once they had returned and all of them thanked Merlin that no one had been hurt.
They had reached the headmasters office and the gargoyle was standing in its normal position waiting to be told the password.
“Sherbet Lemon,” Hermione said.
The gargoyle sprang to life and slid aside to let them in and up the small winding stairs to the headmaster’s office. Before the even knocked on the door a voice called ‘Enter’. Stepping into the office they noted that Dumbledore wore a solemn look. A look that they were used to during the last year they saw him alive. One of fear, sadness and maybe a hint of regret, but nonetheless it was one which still showed determination.
“Take a seat. As you are aware, I have already formed the Order of the Phoenix in this time. I would like you to consider attending the meetings and help us plan a strategy for missions. As intelligent as I am, I know that the three of you know him more than anyone else here. I have already lost two more members in the last few days; their whole families were also lost. I am not asking you to reveal information you know about the future, just information you know about the present time, and I do realise that it may be very little,” Dumbledore asked.
“I would be glad to help Professor. This may be what is supposed to happen, we may mean to influence the future and save those who are meant to have big roles in the future.” Harry responded with enthusiasm. “I do wish we could save everyone, but I know that it is an impossible task to do so,”
“I agree with you completely Mr Potter. Sometimes, no matter how hard something seems we always manage to get through it. May be if some of the people you want to save do not die, then other peoples choices affected by that, will change the future for the worse. They may never do what is needed of them, in the end they may ending up taking a different path to the one they were meant to,” Dumbledore said softly. He understood Harry’s desires completely.
He craved to have his family back together. His father was taken from him, and put into Azkaban for attacking the muggle boys who had attacked young Arianna first. Oh how he had let down his mother when she had passed. He knew that it was his responsibility for looking after Arianna as he was now head of the family. He also knew that he had hated it, being cooped up in a small old house doing nothing because his disabled sister needed him. He felt guilty now, knowing he should have paid more attention to her over those few months that boy was there. He however, had not, and that is why his dear sister was currently lying in Godric’s Hollow cemetery and his relationship with his brother in ruins.
“Please return here tomorrow at 7.30pm sharp. I shall introduce you to the other members of the Order and tell them that you are going to help us construct plans for certain situations. If they ask you any questions then please just tell them that you along with other former friends of yours had very close run ins with the Death Eaters and Voldemort. They of course know of Harry’s encounter with them over Christmas. One word of caution though, you may not tell the others about what we have spoken about. The only one you may do so is Miss Weasley as she is aware of the Order and the way they attack. You may leave now,” Dumbledore said.
“We won’t Professor, good night,” Hermione replied as they left the office.
A few corridors away from the headmaster’s office they thought it was safe to start talking about what had occurred in there.
Hermione turned to face Harry and said “I think Dumbledore has the right idea about helping him with it. I think you would be the best though Harry, you understand him more than either of us,”
“She’s right mate, I think you would be best to come up with the initial plans and we add details with you. You know that you are the best when it comes down to something with Voldemort, you know him better than either of us and you understand him better too,” Ron said agreeing wholeheartedly with his wife.
“The both of you are right, I do know Voldemort better than anyone but I will still need your help to come up with contingency plans in case anything goes wrong. I didn’t do everything on my own during Hogwarts or during that last year; it was all of our effort and luck,” Harry replied.
They reached the entrance to each of their dorms and muttered their goodnights to one another. They could not wait for a good night’s rest as it had been a long day.
Ron and Hermione walked into the dorm they shared and made sure they were in far enough for their conversation not to be overheard by someone passing by.
“What do you think about what Dumbledore has asked us to do love?” Ron asked his wife.
“I think that I really want to help him and the rest of the Order, but I am unsure about Harry. He has only just put this behind him and I really do not want him to suffer with memories he has put in to the past. The only thing for this is that you and Harry are Auror’s who are constantly coming up with new strategies on how to capture dark wizards, how different can it be with Death Eaters? We have all faced them and we all know the low tricks they will play to get what they want,” Hermione replied.
“You’re right we do plan new strategies to capture some dark wizards, however the majority of the time we use tried and tested methods which get us the results we want. I know you worry about Harry being around this and so do I, but he has you, Ginny and me to help him. He has his parents and the rest of the marauders too, one thing you are forgetting though Hermione is that Harry is strong. He will get through this; he will be alright because he always is. He saw his parents from the ring and he didn’t give up or breakdown then, he didn’t cling to it he just did what he needed to do and he has that memory but he does not dwell on it,” Ron said trying to remind Hermione of everything that Harry had come through over the last year in the battle.
“I know that you are right, but I just worry about him. The thing I worry about the most is what he is going to be like when we go home and they are not there anymore. He will have to mourn them all over again and that is not exactly a healthy thing to do,”
“I know it’s not Hermione but we will deal with it when the time comes ad not before. Why don’t we go to bed and get some rest? We have a full day ahead of us tomorrow,” Ron said trying to steer Hermione off the subject of Harry. He knew where she was coming from and he was worried himself, but he had proven over and over again that he was strong.
Lily woke up on Friday morning with a very peculiar feeling. She did not remember why until she realised that it was her eighteenth birthday today. She knew that the others had planned something special for her, but every time she asked any of them about it they clammed up and changed the subject. She also knew that out of all of them it was James and Harry who had spent the most time and effort on it and would want everything perfect.
She really did like James and knew she was falling for him fast. She wouldn’t say love yet because although she was sure it was love, it was a little too soon. She had never really hated him at all she had just hated the things he did to other students, especially Snape. Once she actually got to know him better she saw that he wasn’t as bad as he seemed to be, and even though he had his problems with Snape in the past she knew that he saved his life during fifth year. That must have taken some courage, to save your worst enemy. Lily knew now though that as much as James hated someone he would not want them dead. Well not unless it was You-Know-Who.
Lily finally decided to get up and go for a shower, knowing that she could not put it off for very much longer. As she slipped under the warm water her mind went back to what Sirius had said about James’s present earlier in the week. Was it really that big that they could compare it to the size of Texas? Knowing Sirius it was something small, and he was just messing around about the size of it. It didn’t matter to Lily about how big the present was it was the fact that he had bought her one in the first place.
Slipping out of the shower Lily decided to wear a little make-up. She didn’t normally wear make-up to class, but as it was her birthday (and the fact she was Head Girl), she decided that it didn’t matter. Many other girls who regularly wore make-up looked as if their make-up bag had exploded onto their face. All Lily needed was a thin layer of foundation, eyeliner and some mascara. She was always a firm believer in ‘less is more’, which also extended to clothes. She could go on all day about the girls who wore too much make-up, and wore very revealing clothes. She didn’t want to be nasty about them, but they were they type of girls she did not get along with.
Lily quietly stepped out of the bathroom, careful not to wake her dorm mates up; only to find that they were already awake. They were all sitting there gossiping and waiting for her to come out of the shower.
At the sound of the bathroom door opening the other girls looked to Lily, and smiled.
“Happy birthday Lily,” Mary said happily. She was always cheerful in the mornings, and Lily would usually find this annoying, but today it she was in such a good mood it didn’t matter.
“Thanks guys!” Lily gushed.
“Here is our present, we all chipped in to get you something good,” Mary explained, giving Lily a smallish package.
Lily took it in her hands, and began unwrapping it. Pulling a box out she noticed a picture of a camera on it, and a look of realisation came onto her face. “You got me a wizarding camera?” Lily asked in awe. She had a very old one which was on its last legs, and she had been eyeing one up in Hogsmeade.
“Yes we did Lily, we know that you wanted to buy a new one for a while, and we think it is perfect. We decided to get you the latest model which can capture up to three seconds, and prints immediately,” one of the other girls replied.
Rushing to each of them, Lily gave them a massive hug to show how much she appreciated it. She decided that now was a good time to test it out. Going out of the girls dormitory, she went down the stairs until they forked, and immediately turned and went up to the boy’s dormitories.
Lily finally reached the seventh year ones, and quietly pushed open the door. Ignoring the dirty laundry all her around her, she snuck up to her boyfriends bed, and took a picture of him sleeping. Lily was thankful that the camera had a silencing button on it so no one would wake up. She had decided that today, for one day only she would act like a marauder, and that meant waking the marauders up in a way that they would be proud of.
Conjuring four buckets of ice cold water, Lily charmed them to hover above each guys head. Chuckling lightly to herself, she released the charm and was instantly met with screams.
“WHAT. THE. HELL. WAS. THAT?” Sirius spluttered. His long black hair stuck to his face like it was full of grease.
Again Lily could not resist taking a picture, and that is when the boys finally noticed her. She was standing in the doorway, hand over her mouth, laughing so hard that her face was as red as her hair.
“I’m... so...sorry,” Lily said trying to calm herself down. “I really couldn’t resist doing something like this today. I made a decision that think you will be proud of though, I-“
“You couldn’t resist! You... you’ve messed my hair up! Prong’s tell her she can’t do that,” Sirius shouted. When he turned to his best friend however, all he saw was a look of awe on his face.
Remus was curious about the second part of what Lily was going to say, and asked her about it. The rest of the guys looked shocked hen she told them that she would be acting like them and pulling pranks all day. She also mentioned that she was sorry if any of them got detention for anything she had done, as she was not going to own up to it.
James had been completely elated at the prospect, and even started rolling off some pranks that he would like her do. Lily had agreed to some of them, but said that she had been thinking about many of them for the past week, and some were not to be missed.
The day passed like most normal days at Hogwarts do. There were a few pranks here and there, but nothing big like Lily had promised the marauders. That was until they walked into the great Hall that night for dinner.