Chapter 7 : It's Friday (friday) Night and Q&As
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Disclaimer: So my best friend Jo Rowling wrote this little story called Harry Potter. You should check it out, man!
“What time is it?” groaned a voice from behind the couch in the Gryffindor common room.
The room was uncommonly bare for a Friday night. A few first years were playing exploding snap in the corner, several fourth years were laying by the fire having returned sopping wet from a particularly interesting Care of Magical Creatures lesson, two second years were concentrating on a never-ending game of wizards’ chess, and occupying the largest amount of space in the room were the group of seventh year Gryffindors.
Sirius Black had sprawled himself across the most comfortable couch in the common room two hours ago, declaring, “Mine!” and hadn’t moved since. Unfortunately for Sirius, James and Mia had deemed him unfit to lay across the couch alone and jumped onto him roughly an hour later. The three of them were currently sprayed across the couch in a mess of limbs, pillows, and hair.
On the side opposite them, Lily and Claribel were curled up in two identical armchairs, and Remus sat at the nearest desk working on an Astronomy assignment. “It’s half-past six,” he answered, and the person behind the couch moaned.
“No way! It has to be later than that. It’s eleven o’clock. Tell me it’s eleven o’clock. Shit, tell me that it’s nine o’clock. There is no proper excuse for being this exhausted earlier than nine on a Friday night!”
A loud clunk was heard from the left side of the couch. “Shit,” the voice swore.
“Hey, watch it,” mumbled Mia as the couch shook slightly.
Shanti Sunrita peeked over the couch, rubbing the back of her head, to glare at the brunette head, which had already sunk itself deeper into the shoulder of Sirius Black and could now only be seen as a tangled mass of hair.
Surveying the room, she groaned again.
“What now?” came the muffled voice of Claribel Collins as she turned her body to face Shanti? Her head was resting on one arm of the chair she occupied while her legs were pushed up over the other.
“What’s wrong with Moony?” slurred James, eyes still closed.
“He’s doing homework!” Shanti’s voice escalated, “HOMEWORK!” With great effort, she managed to pull her body up off the floor, using Remus’s desk chair for help. Remus didn’t even turn around to face her. He just wrote more frantically as though whatever though he just had might slip out of his mind. “HOMEWORK!” Shanti shouted again, waving her arms around madly.
“That’s what Moony does,” James’s voice was almost inaudible as his face was squished against a pillow, “When assigned homework, do homework.”
“But it’s FRIDAY NIGHT!” Shanti’s eyes were bulging frantically.
Ignoring the crazed brown-eyed girl, James snuggled further into the couch cushion he had managed to steal from Sirius. This week had been particularly taxing for the Gryffindor seventh years. Every single teacher seemed to have decided to bump up their curriculum to include more assignments, more reading, and more spell practice. Transfiguration had been particularly difficult, James had thought and that was his best class. He had nearly fainted in Herbology when Professor Sprout brought out the new plants that they were working on, plants that seemed far too perilous to be playing near to so much as playing with. Even Flitwick had added to their coursework with a six-foot charms essay that James was sure would take him all day tomorrow to complete.
As James let his mind run through the vast number of assignments he needed to complete before Monday, he also thought about “The Speech” that every single Hogwarts teacher seemed to have memorized to give to the seventh-year students before each class… “This is a very important year in your education…perhaps the Most important…after this year each of you will embark upon a journey outside the safety of school…where missing assignments won’t be forgiven, unknown spell work will result in practice session, and misbehaving will not result in detention…you must fully utilize this year in school to help as you prepare to leave…study…learn…”
Blah. Blah. Blah. It seemed to go on and on even in his head, as James tried to shake out McGonagall’s voice from his head, but it just continued as Flitwick’s…then Sprout’s…on and on and on… “Your N.E.W.T. results will determine which career paths you will be able to take. Some of you will find so many options that it will be impossible for you to decide where to go. Other will find themselves will no options at all.”
James twitched as he tried to rid himself of the anxiety that seemed to be building in his chest for the past week. He still had a full year, right? That was plenty of time. Hopefully some Professional Quidditch team would pick him up…if not…well…there was always the Ministry. He detested most of the Ministry’s departments, having visited several time with his parents. They were all so…sooo…well, the word corrupt comes to mind, James thought, picturing that awful toad looking woman in pink. He just hated the though of working some desk job cooped up in some corner of the Ministry. That would be horrific. On the other hand, if he could get the best marks, the Aurora Department would be he choice place to work. The problem was, they only took a few new Aurors in for training. You had to be prime.
Both his parents had done it. Surely, he could too. Genetics should kick in somewhere. His father had been encouraging him to work extra hard this year, so that he’d have the marks he’d need if he chose to become an Auror. He’d even hinted that they might need more in the coming year. There was a new Head of the Department—some bloke named Moody, who had shouted at James “Constant Vigilance!” when he nearly walked into him when bringing his parents supper one night over summer holiday. Maybe Quidditch was the better option…
James was torn out from his reveries when Shanti cried out dramatically.
“It’s not fair. Even the firsties are having a better time then us!” she wailed as she fell onto her knees, grabbing her head in both her hands.
When no one reacted to her, she pounded her fists on the ground.
“It’s Friday Night people! We should be doing something! Something fun! Something dangerous! Something that will at least entertain me for a couple of hours!”
She gave a sweeping glare around the room. Still no one reacted to her.
Dragging her hands through her hair, she repeated, “It’s Friday Night people! FRIDAY NIGHT!”
Throwing her hands up in the hair, she collapsed dramatically onto the plush red rug and closed her eyes in defeat.
It’s Friday Night. James thought to himself. Friday Night. What was so important about Friday Night? There was something. He knew it. He just couldn’t seem to remember… Friday Night…Friday Night…Friday Friday
“Friday Night,” he mumbled and suddenly it came to him.
“It’s Friday Night!” he declared in a panic as he jumped to his feet.
Remus sighed, closing his Transfiguration textbook, “Yes, Prongs, as Shanti sang just twenty seconds ago, it is indeed Friday Night.” James noted that Remus had bags under his eyes and was quite pale. He mentally counted the days until the next Full Moon. Was it sometime next week? Already?
Pushing his worries for his friend aside, James said, “No, it’s Friday Night! Lily and I have our meeting with Dumbledore! What time is it?”
Remus’ eyes widened in remembrance, looking at his watch, he said, “It’s nearly seven, mate. You guys better go.”
James hastened over to the armchair where Lily was curled up catlike, apparently sleeping.
“Lily,” he said softly, shaking her gently. He got no response.
“Lily!” he repeated more loudly, “Come on, Lils. Wake up! We need to get going!”
“LILY!” he shouted forcefully.
“Five more minutes, mum,” Lily mumbled, digging her head further into the chair.
James looked at Remus.
Remus held up his hand defensively, “Don’t look at me. I’ve never had to wake her up.”
James stood still for two seconds. Then smiled.
He leaned in close to Lily. “Lady Lilyflower,” he drawled out, “if you don’t get up, I’m going to have to kiss you awake.”
Lily sprung from her chair, hitting James on the chin as she flung her arms out.
“Ouch, that hurt.” James muttered, rubbing his jaw.
“You stay away from me Potter!” Lily hissed at him, pointing her finger accusingly.
James sighed, “As much as I would like to spend this time being personally offended and acting out the resulting argument, I did wake you up with a purpose. Our meeting with Dumbledore is in five minutes.”
“Four minutes,” Remus interjected as he sat down in James’ spot on the couch.
“Four minutes!” James shouted.
“Meeting with Dumbledore?” Lily stood there quite still.
“Yes! Meeting with Dumbledore! In four minutes!” James began to push Lily towards the portrait hole, saying “Come on! Come on! Come on!” He grabbed her hand, tugging.
At James’s touch, Lily seemed to slip out of a trance. “Oh my gosh, the meeting!” she cried.
“That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you,” James said as the two of them crashed out the portrait hole, the Fat Lady yelling as they sprinted down the hall, “Where’s the fire!”
“We are going to be so late,” Lily said worriedly as they ran down staircase after staircase.
“No we’re not,” James told her determinedly. Suddenly, he yanked on Lily’s hand, which he had never stopped holding, pulling her into a passageway that would lead them much closer to Dumbledore’s office.
“Where are we—?”
“No time for explanation.” James said as he dragged Lily on through the narrow passageway, erupting only a floor down from Dumbledore’s office. Pulling Lily along with him, James sprinted up the remaining stairs reaching the stone gargoyle entrance and spitted out, “Chocolate Frogs!”
As staircase slowly began to move, Lily looked amazed, and James yanked her onto the first step.
“How did you—?”
Lily again failed to finish her sentence as they reached a door James pounded on the door.
“Enter,” came the calm voice.
Lily, breathing rapidly, and James, clutching a stitch in his side, entered the room.
It looked just as it had the last time he’d been here, James remarked: whirling silver instruments on the right side, Dumbledore’s desk in the center, and Fawkes the Phoenix’s perch next to it.
“Ah,” said Dumbledore, rising to his feet, “our two Heads, right on time.”
Lily attempted to quiet her heavy breathing, and James stood up straight.
As Dumbledore swept across to the front of his desk, he said, “Well, don’t just stand there. Come have a seat. I must say—the two of you look positively exhausted.” Dumbledore smiled at them, knowingly. James saw Dumbledore glance at his hand, which was still connected to Lily’s. Dumbledore’s eyes seemed twinkle as he met James’ glance. James quickly let go of Lily’s hand.
Seeming to notice the lack of pressure on it, Lily looked at her hand. She blushed slightly, shaking her head and looking at the ground.
James turned his attention back to Dumbledore, who was still smiling, “I trust that the both of you had a good first week of term?”
“Yes, sir,” James replied.
“Busy?” he questioned, looking at Lily.
“Very,” Lily said, regaining her composure to return Dumbledore’s smile.
“I would assume so, we only except teachers at Hogwarts who vow to give seventh year students an intensely difficult final year. This way, they never wish to return.” He winked at James.
James grinned, laughing. He had never entirely understood Dumbledore’s strange sense of humor, but it definitely grows on you. “Sir, I think that it would be very difficult for you to persuade me to leave Hogwarts,” he told the professor.
“Ah, me as well Mr. Potter,” Dumbledore sighed, gesturing around the room. “As you can see, it has been nearly impossible for this old student to leave the school.”
“Teaching probably wouldn’t be the best line of work for me, sir.”
“Indeed,” Dumbledore put a finger to his lips, “perhaps you are right.”
“Hey!” said James, offended.
Lily laughed at the exchange, and Dumbledore smiled again. “Let us sit,” Dumbledore said, using Lily and James into the room.
“Now that the jokes have passed, it is time to get serious,” Dumbledore said as Lily and James sat down.
“Well, I supposed I can go get him,” Lily said, acting to get up off her chair, “but I thought that this was only a Head’s meeting?”
James laughed, “We might be hard pressed to wake him though,” he said, playing along. Well, if Lily was making jokes, he decided that this would indeed be a good meeting.
“I should have expected that one,” said Dumbledore, as he too took a seat, though across the desk.
James snuck a glance at Lily, trying to communicate with her. What do you think that this is about? His eyes questioned her.
Lily, understanding, shrugged, but smiled at James in what seemed to be a reassuring manner. Then she turned to face Dumbledore, and James followed her lead.
“Well,” Dumbledore began, “I’m sure that the both of you have been curious as to what we would be discussing in this meeting?”
Lily answered for the two of them, “Well,” she paused, “yes, sir. I didn’t think that this was really a customary thing to do. Is it?”
“No.” Dumbledore answered simply. “I’m afraid that I don’t often arrange meetings with the Heads, but I had some—for lack of a better word—matters that I wished to discussed with the two of you.”
James glanced at Lily from the corner of eye to see that she was doing the same. She was clearly wondering some of the same things that he was. James had some ideas what this could be about, but he really felt no need to voice them until Dumbledore confirmed them. He then asked, “What exactly did you to want to discuss, Professor? Is it something to do with school?”
“Ah, a question that is getting harder to answer, Mr. Potter. I’m afraid that the answer is yes…but no. This is not to do with classes, house points, or Quidditch teams. On the other hand, this does affect the school in its entirety,” Dumbledore sighed gravely. “I fear that the tensions that plague our world currently will spill into the school soon, no matter what steps I take to prevent it.”
Lily looked confused and worried, but James thought he knew what Dumbledore was hinting at, though he was unsure what he wanted them to do about it.
“Sir,” he said, “this has something to do with Voldemort. Doesn’t it?”
When he said the name, Lily’s eyes widened in recognition.
Dumbledore nodded and answered James, “It has everything to with Voldemort, Mr. Potter, yet it also has nothing to do with him.”
James was sure he looked very confused. Why did Dumbledore have to speak so cryptically? Always so melodramatic.
“Professor,” Lily said, “what exactly does this have to do with James and I? I mean, what are you asking us to do?”
Dumbledore smiled meekly, “That, Miss Evans, is the question: What can you do?” Dumbledore paused, surveying the two of them with his twinkling blue eyes covered behind the famous spectacles. James never liked when Dumbledore did this. It made him feel like…like he was being… z-rayed or y-rayed or something like that. He’d ask Lily what the damn Muggle device was called later.
Dumbledore continued, “This is why I called us here today. To answer the question: What can the students of Hogwarts do as the Wizarding World faces a war that is doomed to envelope us all?”
“A war, Professor?” Lily sounded shocked, and under that, uncharacteristically scared, James noticed. He itched to be holding her hand again.
“Yes, Miss Evans, a war,” Dumbledore said grimly, “a war that I fear will soon not only destroy parts of this wonderful existence we’ve led all these years but will also invade the school we’ve maintained for over one-thousand years. It was not by chance that I selected two students from the same House this year to represent the school as Head Boy and Girl. It was not by chance that I chose these two students not merely on academia, which on both accounts are still exemplary, but also because these two students would be the two most likely students have the most effect in uniting the students of Hogwarts.”
Uniting the students of Hogwarts? James thought. What on earth does he mean by that? Did Dumbledore want them to be all buddy-buddy with the Slytherins, or something? He’d be lucky if he could get a single Slytherin to say that they didn’t really hate him that much so much as actually befriend one.
Dumbledore continued on, “This is more than an issue of House rivalry. That has always existed, and I suspect that some remnant of it always will. This is about bringing together those that can and will join in a movement against that of Lord Voldemort and his followers. It is also about trying to defer those that seem to be on the inevitable course of joining Voldemort. And more than anything, it is about making sure that this darkness that seeps into our school causes no innocent student harm.”
When Dumbledore paused in his speech, Lily asked him again, “But sir, what do you want us to do?”
“This is not a question of what I want you to do, Miss Evans,” Dumbledore answered her. “The better question is—What do you want to do?”
“Anything,” James answered immediately, “I’ll do anything to help.” He glanced at Lily, who nodded at him feverishly. “We’ll do anything to help.”
Dumbledore smiled, “While I am happy hear that, Mr. Potter, I am sorry to have to ask far too much of you both.”
“Hardly, sir,” Lily told him. “It is our responsibility as Heads to help keep the school running smoothly.”
“Ah, but Miss Evans, I have not yet finished in my asking you for your assistance.” Dumbledore sighed again, getting up from his desk. He looked out the window next to his desk for several long seconds. James felt Lily’s questioning eyes on him, but he kept his own trained to the elder wizard.
James has never really thought of it before, but Dumbledore was really getting up there in years. How old was he now? He was over a hundred, according to his parents. Looking at Dumbledore now, it was impossible not to notice the frailty in his hands or the aged look in his eyes. James had never imagined the though of Dumbledore, the greatest wizard of the age, as old or…he hated even thinking it…weak. Of course, age was of less importance in the Wizarding world. The advantage of battling with magical ability versus physical strength was that your “power” didn’t weaken with time—often times, you even got stronger. As James looked at Dumbledore, he felt he was for once seeing that Dumbledore was not just the fun, carefree Headmaster of Hogwarts with the twinkle in his eye, but he was also an aged man who had seen much of the darkness that existed in this world.
Studying him further, James decided that Dumbledore looked as if he were deciding something in that massive brain of his. His brow was crinkled, his eyes knitted closer together than usual. Suddenly, the Headmaster’s face changed. He looked determined, resolute. He had made his decision.
Turning around, Dumbledore addressed the two Heads, “What I am about to ask you goes far beyond that of Headmaster to student. I wish that both of you would thinking very hard about your answer—to which you have every right to say no. It might very well be wise to answer no. However, I like to think that I know my students, and I think that each of you will at first be inclined to answer yes; therefore, I am insisting that you do not give me an answer until we meet again.”
Dumbledore had moved so that he was directly in front of James and Lily, who were both giving him their undivided attention.
Taking a great breathe, Dumbledore began, “During the past few years, I have been slowly been creating an organization fro the purpose of resisting Lord Voldemort and his followers. It has been a rather slow and arduous process, one that I had hoped would be completely unnecessary, but I fear that it will be vital if we ever wish to see the end of Lord Voldemort rein of cruelty. It is important to mention that this league is completely outside the Ministry. Of course, that is not to say that there shall never be involvement with the Ministry, or that anyone in the Ministry shall be allowed in. In fact, it would be foolish not to have members within the Ministry, for Lord Voldemort is sure to have his. I just believe it wise that we do not ignore the potential risk all of Voldemort’s opposition falling at the same moment.”
“But, Professor Dumbledore,” James couldn’t help but interrupt, “the Ministry’s not in danger of falling to Voldemort. Is it? I mean it seems to be standing strong. Nothing has been so bad that the Ministry hasn’t been able to handle it.”
“No, Mr. Potter. I do not believe that the Ministry is currently in any danger of collapse. But it is impossible to say that it never will. I find it best if we don’t put all hope of defeating Voldemort in one group. To use a popular Muggle phrase: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Yes, I believe it is best to stay a separate entity away from the Ministry.” Dumbledore’s eyes searched James, “I can understand if you are hesitant, Mr. Potter. Your parents are employed at the Ministry. It’s very understandable if you hold some sort of loyalty there.”
“I don’t!” James said quickly but then feeling like he needed to explain himself, “What I meant is—I’m not some Ministry lapdog. My parents do their job because they believe what they do is important and not because some Head at the Ministry tells them to. They don’t work for Ministry prestige or anything like that. I’m actually pretty sure they hate the… the…elaborate and… official side to everything the Ministry stamps onto whatever they get involved with.” James took a deep breathe, “In fact, you should really ask them to be apart of your organization. I’m sure they’d say yes.”
Dumbledore smiled at James, the corners of his eyes crinkling. “I’m sure they would say yes, Mr. Potter. I fear though, that while your parents, and the other Aurors whom I already have contacted, have experience and would be dedicated to the group, they would also lack the time to really participate. It’s time to look towards the next generation.”
“Us.” Lily stated simply.
“Yes, Miss Evans. You,” Dumbledore said. He walked around his desk to stand behind it again. Gripping the back of the chair, he began. “I believe the events of this coming year will be essential to the fight against Lord Voldemort. He will surely try to recruit as many newly instated wizards as possible, believing that young wizards will be easily persuaded, foolish, and have no idea what they’re getting themselves into. Lord Voldemort prays on the weak and vulnerable, which is how many students feel upon exiting Hogwarts. Many long for a leader, someone to point him or her in the right direction—in any direction. Voldemort fills this role.”
Pausing, Dumbledore sat down in his chair. “It may seem early in the school year to be worrying about such things, but it seems unlikely to me that Lord Voldemort will wait for the educational year to be up before he reachs out to potential followers. We must do the same.”
When Dumbledore stopped to take a breath, James felt that he could practically hear his heart beating. All this stuff about a war—Voldemort, followers, leaving Hogwarts—everything was changing. And from the sounds of it, it didn’t sound very good.
Dumbledor continued on, “I believe that somehow young wizards will decide who wins this war. Lord Voldemort always underestimates youth, even those that he himself employs! Now, to the question that is the reason for this meeting. Remember, I insist that you think about you answer very carefully. I will not require it for quite some time.”
Dumbledore was looking at them so intently that James felt the old man was trying to read his mind, which, he had to remind himself, he probably was. Dumbledore probably wasn’t getting much from him though at the moment. His mind had never felt so jumbled. He looked at Lily, who was matching Dumbledore’s gaze with an intent on of her own.
Dumbledore rested his elbows on his desk, bringing his hands under his chin, “Would the either one of you be interested in joining us in the fight against Voldemort?”
“Yes,” Lily answered immediately.
“Miss Evans, I implore you to think hard about this decision.”
“I have, Professor,” Lily said defiantly. Sitting there, her back straight, her eyes wide open, her mouth set in a firm line—she had never looked more earnest in answering a teacher’s question. “I’ve made my decision. I’ve read about the platforms Voldemort stands on, the most important of which is the so-called purity of blood. I’m Muggleborn, Professor, and proud of it, but who is going to be in the most danger if Voldemort gains strength. Me. What options does that give me? Run? Hide? I could never run away from this world that I’ve grown to love. It’s where I belong. I need to fight this. You can ask me to think about this, Professor Dumbledore, but there’s no other choice for me to make.”
When Lily suddenly stopped talking, James noticed that his mouth was hanging open. Closing it quickly, he shook his head. There was just so much to think about. His mind was filled with thoughts of dark wizards, students being recruited by Voldemort, him fighting in a war…Lily fighting in a war. She sounded so sure in that decision. As for him…he didn’t know what to think. All he knew is that all he really wanted to do right now was get some potion for headache from the infirmary.
James turned as Dumbledore spoke again, “You sound very sure of yourself, Miss Evans, which I trust you are, but I shall not accept any answer until we meet again. It may only be weeks, or it may be several months. I encourage both of you to think about what your answer might mean to your future—your future careers, families—how it might affect your life. Then, when you have though of every minute detail, come to me with your final answer.”
Lily looked to James as if she wanted to protest, but she said nothing.
“Dangerous times lie ahead. In such times we must keep those whom we trust close. Trust in your friends what I have shared with you tonight and ask them the question in turn.”
“Now,” Dumbledore stood, “I believe it best if we part for this evening. I have given you both much to think about.”
No kidding. James thought meekly. His brain was such a mush that if he were asked at this moment what his name was he’d probably fail to supply the correct answer.
“James,” Lily was looking at him.
Oh, yeah. That was his name.
Lily gave him a look.
What did he do now?
“You ready to leave?” Lily spoke slowly.
She was standing, slowly walking toward the door.
“Oh.” James said. “Yes. Let’s go.” He really needed to get out of this room. He felt as though his IQ were dropping by the second. Lily looked as though she agreed with this assessment.
James quickly jumped up from his chair and caught up with Lily, who had reached the door that would lead to the spiral staircase that would get him out of this blasted office.
Lily opened the door. Suddenly, she paused, causing James to almost run into her.
“Sir,” she said as opening the door to exit, “What is this organization of yours called? You never said.”
“Ah, it is called, Miss Evans, the Order of the Phoenix.”
Lily nodded and moved to go down the stairs.
James, however, stopped and looked at the gold and red bird sleeping quietly on its perch… The Order of the Phoenix…
He closed the door silently on his way out.
Author's Note: Yay! Chapter Seven! I was so excited to get this chapter out. It really lays the ground work for alot of what this story will be about. Hopefully, everyone is starting to get a feel for some/most of the characters? I know it can take a while with such a large cast of them.
Anyhoo, thanks to everyone who took the time to review. I really love them all. They truly inspire me to keep writing more. Remember that! I tried and tried and tried to get this chapter out before Xmas, so I hope it makes the cut! So if you are reading this before Christmas...Merry Christmas!...If not, Merry Chistmas anyway!
Please please review...(insert puppy dog picture here)
But seriously, they make my day :)
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