Chapter 1 : Old Friends
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She did not pull down her hood as she reached the castle and ascended the steps towards the Hall. She did not look back, nor to the left, nor to the right. If she was being watched upon entering, she was not concerned. She stared straight ahead, striding through several silent corridors, her black boots barely making a sound.
She reached an opening where stood two large Gargoyle statues. ‘Fizzing Whizzbies,’ was the first thing to escape her blood red lips and the Gargoyles slid aside allowing her entrance to the narrow spiral staircase. When she had reached the top she paused at the door and knocked twice. She heard a faint, ‘Come in’, and entered the large enthralling office which belonged to the Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
As she moved fully into the room, she spotted several portraits sleeping, and an aged wizard behind the desk, his long silver beard and hair gleaming in the candlelight. ‘Welcome back, Adelie,’ said the old man with a gleam in his eye.
‘Always a pleasure, Albus, my old friend,’ said the young witch to the elder.
‘I see you have not changed a bit since we last met,’ said the Headmaster. He studied her and saw that she had still the same dark brown wavy hair down to her waist, the same bright green eyes that shined like emeralds, the same flawless skin and the appearance of a sixteen-year-old girl witch.
The young girl replied, ‘And I see you have changed drastically with the seasons, old man.’ She smirked at him and he chuckled along.
‘Nature has taken its course, yes,’ he replied with a smile as he rose to walk over to her. He wrapped his arms around her in a warm, friendly hug as though he had known her forever. She returned the hug and they pulled apart. ‘Might you care for a cuppa, my darling? I’ve got the finest Lavender Earl, if I can interest you. A gift from a student of mine. I daresay he was looking in to becoming a Prefect that year…’
‘I wouldn’t mind a spot of tea, Albus,’ said Adelie with a small smile that did not reach her eyes.
Dumbledore appeared a moment later hovering with his wand a tea tray complete with a tea pot, two cups, tea cozy, biscuits and marmalade. He sat the tea set at his desk and said, ‘I know it is late, but please have a biscuit. You have traveled a long way and it will do you good.’
Adelie looked affronted and replied to the elder wizard, ‘I do not know how much good it will do me, Albus, as I cannot benefit from the intake of nutrients.’
Dumbledore looked quite embarrassed at this, wondering how he could have forgotten that all the time he knew this girl he had never once witnessed her eat. She drank tea every now and then, but surely did not need to because –
‘You don’t need nourishment when you’ve been dead for nearly two hundred and fifteen years, you know,’ she said with a slight smirk.
Albus nodded solemnly and sipped his tea. Adelie sipped her tea as well and they sat in amicable silence until she spoke again, ‘While I do not mind engaging in simple pleasantries with an old friend, Albus, I am eager to speak with you about the reason I am here.’
Dumbledore looked up from his tea cup and put it back on the saucer in front of him as he leant back in his chair and crossed his hands over his stomach. ‘Ah, yes. It is rather late. I agree we must get on with it. You must be rather tir-‘ he stopped abruptly and she smiled broadly this time.
‘It is quite all right, dear friend, for you to forget that I need no sleep when it is such a vital part of your existence,’ she said to him as she smiled. This was the first time during their meeting that she had shown her teeth, and he saw now the two sharp fangs protruding down from her top set of teeth; it had been so long since he had seen them that he was somewhat taken aback at their appearance.
He took a moment and then spoke again in a voice of deep sorrow, ‘Adelie, you are aware of the situation that has occurred this past year with the Triwizard Tournament and the untimely death of our poor student here at Hogwarts, Mr. Cedric Diggory.’ He paused, she nodded, and he continued. ‘Have you been reading the Daily Prophet?’ he asked her tentatively.
‘I have, Albus. They believe you have gone mad. They believe Harry Potter is lying. They do not believe that the Dark Lord has returned,’ she replied.
He looked at her with concern in his eyes and a hint of sadness and regret. ‘Do you, Adelie?’ he asked her timidly.
‘I believe he has returned, the Dark Lord, indeed,’ she replied to him. ‘I never believed him to be dead, after all. He was always much too consumed with defeating death; I doubted he would have given in so easily.’
Dumbledore stared at her concernedly and then gave a weak nod. ‘I had founded a resistance back when Lord Voldemort first became powerful. He was gathering large numbers, as I know you are overtly aware. The society I created I named the Order of the Phoenix.’ Adelie smirked here and looked over to Dumbledore’s familiar, a beautiful red and gold phoenix that sat next to his desk, sleeping.
‘You always were so fond of that bird of yours. Wonderful creature, he is. Saved your life a time or two I remember all too well,’ said Adelie, still staring at the bird with loving admiration.
Dumbledore smiled with a gleam in his eye, ‘Indeed… one of my oldest friends. I remember the day I acquired him.’
‘As do I,’ said Adelie now staring at Dumbledore, a bitter sweet smile falling over her gaunt face.
Dumbledore continued, his voice growing steadily heavier. He explained to her all about the Order of the Phoenix, its members, and how the Potters had been a part of it. ‘It is my intention to commence the Order again, and to gather what is left of its members. I would like for you to join, Adelie.’
Her expression turned serious and she stared in to Dumbledore’s pale blue eyes. ‘Why do you need me, Albus? I am not sure I can be much use.’
Dumbledore replied, ‘You know more about him than I do, Addie. I need all the information I can – ‘
‘I do not know him!’ interrupted Adelie, now looking furious, though her eyes were becoming damp and polished. ‘I knew him, that is all. A monster is what he has become, Albus! I knew Tom Riddle. This “Lord Voldemort” is a stranger to me! What makes you think I can help you defeat him?’
‘You still have something of his, I believe, my dear. I believe it may be as good a time as ever to turn it into a weapon to use against him. Our world will surely fall if we lose our focus. We must use every weapon we have to our advantage,’ Dumbledore finished and was now staring at her.
‘You still believe he has a soul, do you?’ Adelie replied after a moment, her tone mocking.
‘I believe he has a bit of a soul. I believe he has… multiple, in fact,’ he replied steadying his gaze on her.
She looked at him now, confusion etched across her pale face as she said, ‘You think… you believe… he couldn’t. That is ancient magic. Only one other person has ever attempted that type of magic, and he only did it once. That person failed. He is dead. And multiple pieces, Albus? It is impossible.’
Dumbledore sighed and looked at her gravely, ‘My dear, nothing is impossible. You, of all people, should know that.’
‘How many pieces, Al? How many fragments has that monster divided himself into?’ she asked, a look of fury and disgust now evident on her face.
‘I do not know… but I think I know someone who might. He is an old colleague of mine. You may remember him – Horace Slughorn,’ replied Dumbledore.
Adelie looked at him and smiled, ‘Head of Slytherin House, yes I remember. He was rather close with Tom.’
Dumbledore nodded and said, ‘I am working on getting the information from him. In the meantime, I am assembling the Order again. I know I ask too much of you, Adelie, but I need your help to take down this monster. I hope you will consider. I can pay you for your contributions –‘
Adelie interrupted, ‘Absolutely not, Albus. I will not accept money from a friend.’ She paused and thought for a few minutes as they sat in silence. Dumbledore could see the cogs turning in her head and he thought he might have her…
She spoke again, ‘All right. You have my allegiance. I will provide whatever services I can for your secret society, and I want nothing in return.’
He smiled delightedly at her, but she held up a hand, ‘But if this gets too hard for me, I want out, no strings attached. I will not be forced to stay, and I hope you will not make it difficult for me to leave.’
His smile faltered slightly, but he acquiesced. ‘You have my word, Adelie Amelia.’
‘And you have mine,’ she said as she stood to take her leave.
He gave her a warm hug and said, ‘I will send you an owl sometime in the next fortnight to tell you when I will be assembling my meeting.’
She nodded, and was out the door and descending the spiral staircase before he had a chance to say goodbye.
He looked back at her as she left his office dead and lonely as it was before she had come. Staring back at Fawkes, memories filled his head, and a tear shown in his blue eyes, threatening to escape. ‘The decisions we make,’ he whispered quietly down at his old feathered companion, ‘for power.’
The tear that had been threatening to escape his wrinkled eye made its way out, slowly traveling down his aged face and falling onto the tea saucer she had left on his desk.