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Chapter 15 : Meeting
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Author's Note: Hey everyone! I'm so sorry for the long wait, but here's an update! It's really here! This isn't a dream! And you want to know a great way to thank me? A review. Just saying. I would also thank honeybunny777 for bribing me, because it definitely helped get my butt in gear :P Hope you all like this chapter!
It was bright and sunny today, although it was very windy. After breakfast everyone lined up in front of Filch as he checked our names on the list of people going to Hogsmeade. It made me think of how I wouldn't even be allowed to go to Hogsmeade if not for Sirius.
Emily seemed to have noticed I was thinking about him because as soon as I got by Filch, she kissed me lightly on the lips before holding my hands and walking backwards, extending both of our arms to their full-lengths. I smiled lopsidedly at her and she giggled in response. I like how we had that kind of relationship where we didn't have to talk and could still understand what the other wanted to say or was thinking.
"So where are we going?" I asked Hermione. Emily's bright smile immediately turned into a frown. "The Three Broomsticks?"
"No," Hermione said, "no, it's always so crowded in there and way too loud. We told the others to meet us at the Hog's Head. It's that other pub - I personally think it's a bit...dodgy - but we won't be overheard this way."
"Yes we will," I heard Emily mutter in a sing song voice. She must've really been against this meeting place. We came up to a small, shabby building. It had a sign of severed boar's head on a sign that was hanging above the door.
See, where the Three Broomsticks is always so chatty, happy and clean, the Hog's Head was a very dirty room, with barely any light shining through the grungy windows, and there was a thick layer of dust everywhere. And it smelled like goats...
"Well - er - let's go in then," Hermione said, obviously nervous about the trustworthiness of this place. Hell, I was too.
"I really don't know about this Hermione," I muttered, eyeing the other four guests of the pub. One was wrapped in dirty, grey bandages, two were talking in Yorkshire accents in a dark corner where it was hard to make out their faces, and another witch with a long black veil covering her face was sitting by the fireplace. "What if that's Umbridge?" I hissed.
"Umbridge is shorter. Also, she only wears pink, definitely not black," Emily pointed out just as a grumpy old man came out of the side room. He was tall, thin and vaguely familiar. "I'll get us some drinks."
She practically glided over to the counter where I saw her hold up four fingers. I heard her muttering quietly to the bartender, who was also muttering back, in voice too quiet for me to hear. She came back and sat down, draping her legs over my lap from her own seat as she passed us the bottles.
"So who did you say was supposed to be meeting us here?" I whispered to Emily.
"Just a few people," She winked as she took a sip, a look of pure bliss taking over her face, like it always did whenever she had Butterbeer. "We told them to come around this time, and - here they are."
A large group of people walked in. First to come in was Neville, who was with Dean and Lavender. The Patil twins followed behind them along with Cho Chang and one of her usually giggling friends. Luna Lovegood followed behind them, looking like she was in such a daze that she might've walked in by accident. Then Emilie and Brad walked in together, followed by Alicia Spinnet, Angelina Johnson, and Katie Bell. Then came the Creevey brothers, followed by a group of Hufflepuffs including Ernie Macmillan, Justin Finch-Fletchley, Hannah Abbott, someone I recognized from their Quidditch team and another girl whose name escaped me. The three guys from Ravenclaw - Anthony Goldstein, Michael Corner and Terry - Boot, who were with Ginny. Then came in Fred, George, Lee Jordan and Lindsay, and they were followed in by that girl Emily had said that she hated...Kacey, I think her name was.
"A few people?" I asked disbelievingly and she grinned sheepishly in response.
"Well, I only asked a few people, but Hermione on the otherhand..." She trailed off as Hermione grinned sheepishly this time.
"Could we please have...twenty-seven Butterbeers please?" Fred asked the barman before turning to everyone. "Okay everyone, cough up the money. We aren't paying for all of these."
I watched the group, unaware of anything else, knowing that I was going to have to address them all. I looked to see Emily gently rubbing my arm comfortingly. Sure, she wasn't worried. She's been performing and speaking in front of people her whole life, but me?
"They just want to hear what you've got to say," Emily whispered soothingly. "You don't even have to do the talking at first. Leave that to Hermione and me." She lightly kissed me on the lips.
"Hi Harry! Hi Emily!" Neville waved enthusiastically for us to both wave back, Emily waving like she was a little mad.
"Er," Hermione started, not making the best first impression, but hey, who was I to talk? "Well - er - hi."
"So you all know why you're here. Hermione and I had the idea that it might be good if people who wanted to learn actual Defense Against the Dark Arts got the chance. Nothing like what you're all getting with Umbridge because no one in their right minds would call that lame crap Defense Against the Dark Arts - so we thought that we should take matter in our own hands," Emily said, her voice clear and strong, giving Hermione time to regroup.
"You want to pass your Defense Against the Dark Arts OWL as well though, right?" Michael Corner asked.
"O-Of course," Hermione said for Emily to shoot her a stern look, obviously telling her to buck up. "But I also want to be trained in defense because...because...because Lord Voldemort is back."
Almost everyone there showed some sort of fear at the name and I rolled my eyes at them. It was just a name. It's not like we were summoning him by saying his name.
"So, if you want to join us, we need to decide how we're going to -"
"What's the proof that You-Know-Who is back?" The guy from the Hufflepuff Quidditch team asked.
"What's your name?" Ron demanded.
"Zacharias Smith," The person answered.
"Well, Dumbledore believes it..." Hermione trailed off, looking like she had lost every bit of momentum she had built up.
"And Dumbledore believes him," He said, pointing at me.
"Look," Emily said, eyeing him warily, "that is not what this meeting is about - "
"It's okay, Em," I told her and she shrugged. I had guessed that this was why a lot of them had come to the meeting - to hear me talk about my "battle" with Lord Voldemort, or how Cedric Diggory died.
"What makes me say Lord Voldemort is back?" I repeated. "I saw him, and Dumbledore told the whole school what happened last year, so if you don't believe him, you definitely won't believe me."
"But all Dumbledore told us last year was that Cedric Diggory got killed by You-Know-Who and that you brought back his body. Maybe if you told us exactly how Cedric got murdered -"
"If you've all come just to hear how Cedric was murdered, you can get your asses out of this building now," Emily said, using her eyes to threaten anyone to make a move for the door.
"I don't want to talk about Cedric Diggory, alright? So if that's all you've come for, you can clear out, just like Emily said," I said and surprisingly enough, no one moved, not even Smith. It could have something to do with Emily's threatening tone and look before, but I was happy to believe they wanted to hear what I had to say.
"So..." Hermione said, her voice strangely high-pitched, causing Emily to snort. "So...if you want to learn some defense, we need to work out how we're going to do it, how often we're going to do it and where we're going to -"
"Is it true that you can produce a Patronus?" The girl from Hufflepuff asked.
"Yeah." I was a bit taken back from this sudden change of topic.
"A corporeal Patronus?" She asked.
"You don't happen to know Madam Bones, do you?" I asked and she nodded happily.
"She's my aunt. I'm Susan Bones," She said, smiling. "She told me about your hearing. So - is it really true that you make a stag Patronus?"
"Blimey!" Lee exclaimed. Emily snickered and under her breath she muttered, "Blimey...oh silly British people". "I didn't know you could do that, Harry!"
"Mum told Ron not to spread it around. Said Harry got enough attention as it is," Fred noted.
"Isn't that the truth," I muttered for Emily to giggle and tangle her fingers into mine.
"And didn't you kill a Basilisk with that sword in Dumbledore's office?" Terry Boot inquired.
"And in first year, he saved the Philosopher's Stone from You-Know-Who," Neville beamed, proud to know that tidbit of information.
"And of course, we can't forget all the tasks he had to get through last year during the Triwizard Tournament - getting pas dragons, merpeople, acromantulas and other things like that. And not to mention that he really did fight You-Know-Who last year, and he saved my life," Emily said, beaming at me. There were a few murmurs among the group before Ernie spoke up.
"What do you mean 'he saved your life'?" Ernie asked, all eyes on Emily now.
"Last year, during the third task," Emily started before taking a deep breath. I knew for a fact that she didn't like talking about this, but I guess it had to come out eventually. "I Saw what was going to happen and I Apparated to the graveyard where Harry and Cedric were transported. Voldemort found me and used the Cruciatus curse on me until I blacked out."
She was looking down at the ground right now as everyone else stared at her and me in awe. I wrapped my arm around her and gently rubbed her back, letting her know I was still there for her.
"You guys all make it seem like I've done all these great things," I said, distracting the attention from her and putting it back on me. "But when it comes to the life or death of someone close to you, or even yourself, you do whatever pops into your head."
"So it's agreed that we wanted to take lessons with Harry?" Hermione asked and there was a loud murmur of agreement. All these people wanted lessons from me? I thought everyone thought I was a nutter! "So, I don't think that there's really any point in meeting less than once a week -"
"Hang on," Angelina interrupted. "We have to schedule it around Gryffindor's Quidditch practices."
"And Ravenclaw's," Cho Chang added.
"And Hufflepuff's!" Zacharias Smith exclaimed indignantly.
"I'm sure we can find nights that work for everyone, but you all know this is very important. It's about defending ourselves against Voldemort," Emily noted, her hands resting on her crossed legs in a very business-like way.
"Here here!" Ernie Macmillan applauded. "Personally, I think this is really important, probably even more important than our OWLs!"
We spent the better part of a half hour trying to figure out where we could meet, but no one could think of a place. "I-I think everyone should write their name down, just so we know who was here. But I also think that no one should go shouted what we're doing, so if you sign, you're agreeing not to tell Umbridge or anyone else what we're up to."
Emily stood up immediately, lacing her fingers with mine and we both walked over to the piece of parchment. I quickly signed it and Emily, making a great show of it, bent over with the quill and wrote her signature in large, loopy letters adorned with stars. I noticed a lot of others looking quite hasty to sign. Hermione handed it to Ron to sign after having signed it herself while we waited for the others to sign.
Fred marched up and signed his name, closely followed by George, Lee, Lindsay, Emilie and Brad.
"Er -" Smith started nervously. "E - Ernie can just tell me when the meetings are."
"But we are prefects," Ernie said, glancing around the name. "And if Umbridge found this list -"
"Do you really think we'd just have this lying around?" Emily asked hotly.
"Okay, I'll sign," He said quickly, running up to sign the piece of parchment. Obviously, he was afraid of Emily. Most people should be...she has quite the temper. No one made any other objections after that, but I saw Emily glaring at Kacey as she wrote her name down.
Next time on "Chaos in the Order"
"Why did he-"
Emily gave a horrified gasp and leapt back, her wings popping out and holding her in the air before she gracefully touched down. A stubby, short-fingered hand covered in rings swiped through the fire, as if trying to find something. Emily held a finger to her lips and we all bolted for the dorms. What we just risked - I couldn't even begin to imagine the results if we had been caught.
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