“Welcome everyone! Settle down!” Harry called the first meeting of the AMASS to order.
He looked around his dining-room-turned-conference room, registering his amazement on his face. He had told Dudley to include everybody, and so taking him at his word, his cousin had indeed invited everybody. There were muggles here Harry had never laid eyes on before, and yet Dudley had assured him that they knew…they’d been working with them all along. From his side Harry had included his entire special task force squad in this meeting, along with Hermione and Ginny. He’d expected this to be new to everyone in attendance, but to his astonishment, Justin already appeared to know everybody, greeting them all as colleagues and old friends. At Harry’s call to order, all fourteen people at the table turned their attention to him.
“Thanks,” Harry began. “Before we begin, I want to make one very important announcement. According to anyone of any higher authority in either of our two worlds, this meeting never happened. It never took place. Anything you learn tonight comes from anonymous sources, reliable contacts, and the like. Anyone not in agreement with this should plan to leave now,” Harry warned.
He paused while a murmur went round the room.
“We understand Harry,” Rupert said rising to speak for all the muggles that were there. “We all assumed M.R.S. rules would apply before we signed up.”
“M.R.S.?” Wendy asked.
“Muggle Resistance Squad,” Justin supplied. “They helped out the muggle born branch of the DA out during the war.”
“I didn’t know about that,” Smith murmured from somewhere on Harry’s right.
“That is what this organization is based on in part,” he told his one time superior.
Smith nodded succinctly then leaned back in his chair to listen.
“Okay then,” Harry said. “Why don’t we begin with introductions?” His statement became a question at the look on Dudley’s face. “No?”
“Don’t you think it would be better if we all operated anonymously Harry?” Dudley asked.
Harry regarded him thoughtfully. “Is this your core group?”
“Yeah it is.”
“Is there anyone else who assists you?” Harry asked.
“Yes…though indirectly,” Dudley answered.
Again Harry surveyed the room. “I think it would be best if this core group knew one another, on both sides. It might make things easier should we run into one another out on the field, on my end at least,” Harry suggested. “Everyone else remains anonymous. Agreed?”
Dudley looked to his friend. “Rupert?” he questioned.
Rupert surveyed the room. He was, Harry realized, the de facto leader of the muggle group.
“I agree with Harry. Everyone here on our end has wizarding and muggle connections. If the same can be said of yours, I don’t think we have much to lose here,” Rupert suggested.
“Most do, but not all,” Harry said looking pointedly at Wendy and Smith.
“I think your friend has a point Harry,” Smith agreed. “And a year ago I think that would have been the thing to do. But given what we’re dealing with…I think even the Death Eaters have figured out that our magic is stronger when we use it together. It’s the only way to beat them at their own game, in my opinion.”
Harry nodded. “That’s what I think too. My feeling is that we need to learn to trust each other.” He looked back to Rupert again. “It’s your call. If you only want those with ties to both worlds, say something now. If not, these two stay.”
Rupert and Dudley exchanged a look. “We trust you Harry,” Dudley said. “There are a couple of pure muggles we’ve been working with as well.”
“But is it okay with you for them to be here?” Harry asked.
“It is if you vouch for them,” Rupert said. “We know you understand better than anyone what’s at stake and we’re prepared to trust your judgment on this.”
“Okay thanks. Let’s start with introductions. Say your name and how you’re connected to this organization as we go around the table. I’m Harry,” Harry said as he sat down again. “I’m Dudley’s cousin and a junior grade Auror.”
Ron, Hermione, Rupert, Justin, Dudley, Marcus, Beth, Robbie, Dean, David, Wendy, Edward, Ginny. The names were called as they went round the table, with each stating their connection to the other world, their rank and the organization they worked for. In each case the muggles seemed to have a cousin or a sibling that was a member of the wizarding world and all of them were working in law enforcement somewhere in the country. They knew the rules, but they also seemed to understand what they were up against.
“Okay then,” Harry continued on. “We’ve all been working anonymously with one another for months. In the last six weeks, my team has made enormous strides forward in the case. I called this meeting for two reasons. First, I thought it only fair to bring you all up to speed on what we know. Second we’re going to need your help to go forward from here.”
Talk broke out on both sides with objections about Harry’s announcement from both the muggle and wizarding law enforcement officers. This time it was Dudley that called them all to order.
“Harry’s invited us here to ask for our help,” he scolded his fellows. “The least we can do is to hear him out before we turn him down.”
Harry smiled thankfully at his cousin before shooting Smith and Wendy a worried glance. So far he’d earned their trust. He was about to find out just how far he could go with that trust.
“Tell us what you have in mind Harry,” Smith prompted.
“With out going into it too much, we need a better map of the caverns on the Isle of Mann. With our help, I think Dudley and Rupert and their other two muggle contacts can provide us with that.”
Smith regarded him evenly. “I agree. What else?”
“I think…I think if we work together, they will also be our best set of eyes for what is going on inside.”
“How do you mean Harry?” Hermione asked while Ginny just sat quietly and listened.
“I mean, I think we can use the Death Eater’s own plans and prejudice against them to increase our advantage.” Harry had said it to them all, but mostly he was looking at Wendy.
“You’re thinking of the sentinels. You’re going to send them in, under cover, in place of one or more captives?” Wendy asked.
“Something like that. If they are willing and if they agree,” Harry said. “Unless we come up with a better plan.”
At this both Dudley and Rupert leaned far forward.
“Tell us what you know Harry,” Dudley prompted.
“Okay I will.”
And Harry began reciting how their research with the mud had ultimately led them to the worksite they’d nick named the Death Eater Beach and from there to Death Eater Cove on the Isle of Mann. He explained to the assembled group about the muggle captives they’d found there, about what they’d learned about the work that was going on in both locations, and the precarious environment inside the cave. He showed them the transport schedules compiled so far and the photos of all the muggles his teams had taken.
“We need to know more about that place before we can go in,” Harry ended by saying. “We’re getting close, but there are still too many unknowns for us to risk it quite yet.”
“How big is this place Harry?” one of the muggles, Marcus, asked.
“It’s huge. Those hills are full of tunnels and natural caverns. Some are ancient, but apparently they’ve been building new ones as well. I’ve gone in part of the way twice, once with Wendy and once with Ron, and both times I got the impression that the main part of the complex was quite a ways further in. The tunnels were getting quite large where we were, but I think they led to a place beyond that which is a lot bigger. The thing is though, they’ve got protective charms set up all over the place, and except for the outer most boundaries, nearly all seem to be penetrable by muggles,” Harry explained.
“Not the outer ones though?” Dudley asked.
“No. That’s what that portal was you encountered at the dig,” Harry told him. “I have a feeling that once you managed to get beyond that, everything else would ignore you. Most of the people in there are muggles and I doubt it would do them much good for an alarm to get tripped every time one of them moved about.”
“They’re set to detect wizards,” Wendy confirmed. “I hate to admit it, but Harry is probably right about this. They probably wouldn’t notice a few stray muggles more or less, as long as you behaved like you were imperiused.”
Harry expected to have to explain what that was to his muggle guests, but most simply frowned and nodded their heads. Apparently this was something they‘d all encountered before, probably Harry guessed, during the war.
“So when do you want to do this Harry?” Dudley queried.
“I want to get the map first. We’ll use Dr. Summerby’s sonic sensors to do that. We’ll plan the details for how to send you in, when and where once we have that,” Harry explained.
“I can ask Dr. Summerby about setting the sensors,” Dudley offered. “I’m sure he’d be willing to help.”
“I was hoping he would,” Harry agreed.
“Then you’ll need to know how to set them,” Rupert said. “Or more likely one of us will have to do it for you, provided you can get us in.”
“We can,” Harry assured him. “Though I need you to train everybody on how to set them...how deep, how to place them, everything. We’ll plan to work from the top down. We’ll use cloaks to cover us when we go in, so we can mix teams if that would help. Do you think that would work Hermione?” Harry asked.
“I think it would if there is only one wizard along,” Hermione confirmed.
“That would work except for one thing,” Wendy said.
“What’s that?” Harry asked.
“Muggles can’t use invisibility cloaks Harry,” Wendy said.
“Really?” Harry said in surprise. “Dudley can.”
“You can?” Wendy asked the large dark haired man in surprise.
“Yeah, Harry let me use his in the burial mound. I reached right through that portal with it on.”
“The concealment charms are penetrable only to those with magic,” Wendy said with a frown.
“Or those concealed by magic,” Harry added. “Anyone can use the cloak Wendy. That’s the beauty of it.”
But she shook her head. “Not normally Harry. Normal muggles can’t use magical things.”
“Squibs can,” Harry pointed out.
“Yes, but Squibs are not muggles Harry. Wendy is right about this. Muggles usually can’t use magical things,” Smith said.
“Then how do you explain Harry’s cousin?” Hermione asked.
“I can’t,” Smith said.
Harry nodded thoughtfully. “What about the rest of you?” he asked the muggles. “Can any of the rest of you use magical things?”
“I can,” Rupert commented.
“Me too,” Beth agreed.
Slowly as they went around the room they found that each of the muggles present could see or use things previously only thought to be visible to or usable by wizards. Both Wendy and Smith doubted what the muggles were saying, so in order to resolve the question Harry got out his invisibility cloak and let them try it one by one. Of the six muggles who were there, only one was unable to be concealed by Harry’s cloak.
“What does that mean Harry?” Dudley asked.
“No idea Dud. Hermione?” Harry asked.
Hermione shrugged. “I don’t know. Rupert, what do you think?”
“I’ve read about this. Historically there used to be people known as magical muggles. I always thought that was referring to muggles with magical relatives. But maybe it means this instead,” Rupert said. “Though I don’t suppose it really matters what you call it. Knowing about it could come in handy when we’re working together.”
“Yeah it could,” Ron agreed. “So we conceal ourselves, and the muggles who can, use the cloak.”
“When do you want to start this Harry?” Dean asked.
“As soon as possible,” Harry told them. “Dudley, how soon do you think you can get the sensors?”
“How about tonight? Dr. Summerby’s staying at the same inn as Esme. I’ll give her a call, give me it will just take a second,” Dudley declared, and before Harry could ask, his large cousin was jogging back down to the entrance hall while pulling his cell phone from his pocket.
Harry followed with some amusement as Dudley went out to the square in front of Harry’s house to make the call. Apparently it was a given that the device wouldn’t work in the presence of so many wizards.
“He says to come on over and get them,” Dudley announced when he returned.
Harry turned to Ron who was standing in the front hall by Harry’s side.
“It should only take a few minutes don’t you think?”
“To get there and back? Yeah,” Ron agreed.
“Are we going to the inn Dud?” Harry asked.
“Can you take me with you?” Dudley asked.
Harry glanced around the room, taking in Wendy and Smith’s faces. They were willing to cooperate up to a point, but not to the extent of blatantly breaking wizarding law.
“Not this time. Call him back. Tell him to expect me and Ron.” Harry looked around. “Dean I want you to come with me. I want to introduce him to you too.”
“We’ll be back in a bit,” Harry promised as the four young men made their way back out to the square, Dudley to call the scientist back and the other three to apparate away.
Harry made sure Dudley’s back was turned before beginning his spin, taking Dean along while Ron apparated on his own. The three wizards appeared with a soft pop in a short alleyway near the inn, but by the time they rounded the corner the scientist was on his way out the front door with the sensors looking for them. Harry introduced him to Dean then explained that they were setting up a work crew to help place the sensors to extend the map.
“Dudley will get the details to you later, but thanks for these. Knowing how to do it will help,” Harry assured him.
“Shall I expect you in the morning then?” Dr. Summerby asked.
“Probably tomorrow evening, and thanks!” Harry called.
Dr. Summerby frowned slightly as the three men walked into what he knew to be a blind alley way, but when he went to investigate, all three were gone.
“Have you got them?” Dudley asked when fifteen minutes later the three wizards walked back into the house.
Ginny had started the house-elves serving refreshments so those still at the meeting had hardly noticed they were gone.
“Yeah we have. I promised Dr. Summerby that the first of us would come tomorrow evening to begin setting the first sensors,” Harry explained.
“So, how do you set these up?” Dean asked Rupert who was clearly the scientific expert of the bunch.
The rest of the evening was taken up with lessons on setting the sensors and arranging their schedule for placing them. Smith and Wendy agreed to turn a deaf ear when Harry discussed with Rupert and Dudley how to arrange for the muggles transport.
“That way we can do it in a couple of hours after work,” Dudley explained.
“You know, we can just meet you there on Saturday, if that would help,” Beth and Marcus offered.
“I can do that,” Smith agreed, obviously more comfortable with the muggles making their own transportation arrangements.
And so it was arranged, Harry and Dudley would set the first sensor the next evening. It would be time to move the sensor again on Saturday and Rupert agreed to work with Ron to do that.
“Good,” Harry said, and they began to make their assignments for the remainder of the month, for everyone that would be available after their normal work duties were completed.