Chapter 8 : CHAPTER 5: PLANS AND MACHINATION
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Shock and outrage has gripped the muggle society as they try to come to grip with the tragedy. Most skeptics have forwarded scientific explanation of the incident. Some surmised a use of new laser technology while others believed the video was doctored.
Until the Palace destruction survivor stepped forward.
One of the newest political players, Glaslow Broderick gave detailed testimony of what happened inside the queen’s private room. He cried as he recounted his helplessness when he woke up surrounded by people holding sticks, as they showed him what they can do. He swore to do everything in his power to make the murderers pay, may they be magical or not.
A week after the tragedy, Glaslow Broderick was elected interim Prime Minister, tasked to ferret out the truth on the tragedy.
“He now openly rules both worlds.” Neville sighed as he slumped in front of the headmaster’s desk. “And he has managed to reveal our presence to the muggles. Just yesterday, I received words that giants have been spotted in the nearby province. One even destroyed a bridge. With magical creatures wreaking havoc and their monarchy in ruins, the muggles are in disarray!”
“The attack on muggles will intensify, Mr. Longbottom.” Dumbledore spoke up. “And with Kingsley gone, there are only few left to protect them. Playing games is over. You and Ms. Abbot must act quickly and convene a new iteration of the Dumbledore’s Army.”
“Even if we do, they can’t do much while they are here inside the school. We aren’t even near Holiday break. Before Christmas comes, the muggle community will be burning and we are stuck here.” Neville grumbled.
“It is time we give the Dark Lord something to set his eyes on…something that will distract him from his quest of muggle suppression.” Snape remarked. “To do that, Hogwarts must declare rebellion against his regime.”
“And you only have at least a month to train your students, Mr. Longbottom.” Slughorn pointed out.
“We can’t stand against the Dark Lord with just students as our army. We cannot sacrifice the school like that. It is madness” Neville shook his head. “I can’t also act openly against him. He has my grandmother.”
“Rest assured that that area is being taken care of. Someone has already been sent to find the hidden concentration camp.” Dumbledore assured him. “Besides, we shall draw strength from Hagrid and the centaurs in the Forbidden Forest.”
“I have already contacted Ron Weasley.” Nigellus Black spoke up. “He has plans to rescue Kingsley. Once Kingsley is out, they will regroup in the Forbidden Forest.”
“You do know what you are doing don’t you?” Slughorn turned to the portraits. “You are committing all those who oppose the regime in one final stand, much like what we tried a year ago with Harry Potter. However, unlike then, there will be no second chance for all of us. If we fall now, the future will be lost forever.”
“That is why it is imperative we do this as careful and meticulous as possible.” Dumbledore agreed. “Hagrid is already rallying the refugee in the Forest. I believe he had also contacted Minerva in Rowena’s Nook. They will leave the safety of their sanctuary if Hogwarts openly revolt against the regime. Kingsley will be freed by Ron Weasley. You will prepare the students.”
“And the Dark Lord’s invincibility?” Neville asked. “I had the impression that Harry wanted the snake dead before confronting the Dark Lord. If the Dark Lord’s invincibility is somehow connected to that snake then it is imperative to kill it first.”
“The snake will be taken care of.” Dumbledore said though a little bit dubious. “Xenophilius…”
“Can we trust that loony bin?” Snape asked.
“He wasn’t very forthcoming in his plans but he promised that the snake will be dealt with.” Dumbledore explained. “And I am inclined to believe him. He has been very helpful in the year preceding Harry’s death. Harry wouldn’t have come that close to defeating the dark lord without the information shared to me by Xenophilius.”
“But no one knows about the snake except Ronald Weasley who is busy rescuing Kingsley and Granger who is still missing up to now.” Nigellus pointed out.
“Xenophilius swore on his wife’s soul that the snake will be taken care off in a month’s time. And there is nothing more precious to him than his daughter and his wife before her untimely demise. I believe him and we shall work our plan around that timeline.” Dumbledore insisted.
“Well, you have been orchestrating everything from the beginning.” Neville sighed, standing up. “I’ll see what I can do about reviving the Army.”
Slughorn watched Neville walked out of the office.
“He failed to mention that your orchestration led to the death of Harry Potter, the heir of the Black fortune.” Nigellus glanced at Dumbledore who only closed his eyes in grief.
It took Neville Longbottom and Hannah Abbot a week to finally gather the students that will finally comprise the core members of the new Dumbledore’s Army. During that time, open warfare against the muggles was declared. It is now a normal occurrence to see the dark mark hovering above a muggle suburb. Muggle law enforcers have unsuccessfully tried to defend their population, posting pictures of wizards and witches they have manage to take. There have also been raids and arrests on suspected wizards and witches. However most of those arrested turned out to be posers. And those wizards they do manage to find easily escapes their dragnet and sometimes leaving a trail of death in their wake. The Dark Lord under the guise of Glaslow Broderick has publicly led the search for witches and wizards. He was even caught in camera struggling with a wizard.
Aside from the muggle war, a lot of the wizarding world is still suffering under the Dark Lord’s regime. Just yesterday, Slughorn informed him that more than a dozen wizards and witches have disappeared without a trace. Most of them were suspected muggleborn. Dementors are also breeding everywhere much to the suffering of both muggle and wizardkind. Giants rampaging on the countryside have now become a regular occurrence.
Neville took a deep breath as he tries to forget the worries of the world and focus on the task at hand. He had experimentally chosen the Room of Requirement as their meeting place. He was relieved to find out that the demon fire has not affected its capabilities in any way whatsoever. He was also relieved to see that the seven students Hannah had approached have showed up.
First is the Gryffindor hotshot, Jake Roberts. A troublemaker and a perennial recipient of the Carrow’s cruel detentions, Jake has risen to be the champion of the embattled Gryffindor house. Despite being just in his fifth year, Jake has earned the respect of higher year students as well as their prefects. He is also rumored to jump from one girl to another, a rumor which Neville tends to believe since he caught the boy twice in a snogging session with two different girls. Academically, he is one of the best in his year, able to adjust to the new curriculum the Ministry has imposed on them. He has even managed to master the imperius curse which he uses with relish on the Slytherin.
Beside him stood the metamorphmagus, Diana Chase. A seventh year Gryffindor prefect, she is famous for persistently trying to reform Jake Roberts. She had even once resorted to dating him in hope of becoming a good influence on him. A month after she has publicly asked him on a date, she has given up and broke up with him. Jake, however has earned her respect and the two had remain friends. She sometimes still uses her natural abilities to disrupt Jakes’ pranks.
Sitting on the floor amidst pillows not far from them is the sultry Ravenclaw seventh year, Princess Adams. The girl-woman was born with an appealing aura and supermodel body that guys just couldn’t resist. She, however, is serial monogamist and so far only one guy can proudly boast she has dated the elusive student. Her beauty was not what caught Neville and Hanna’s attention though. Princess has a natural talent for charms, a talent which will be very useful in the coming revolt.
Beside Princess is her best friend, the seventh year Selena Mitchell. The bookish, bespectacled girl with bushy curly hairs isn’t a Headgirl for nothing. She has stood up against and even sent to detention some of the Slytherin students. The Carrows tolerate her because her father, Fredrick Mitchell is one of the influential pureblood that supports the Dark Lord.
Leaning on the wall near the door is the muscular Scott Mathew, a fourth year Hufflepuff student. The boy is not that good in spell works but he is knowledgeable in Herbology and magical creatures. The boy has also suffered from the death eaters hands when his sister was carted off to Malfoy Manor. Neville believes that would give the boy enough motivation to join the revolt.
Beside him is the timid Hufflepuff seventh year Matt Connor who usually hides behind his long hair. Front time to time he would look up to nudge his eyeglasses up. Thin and wimpy-like most Slytherin and even some of the other houses bullies tend to pick on him. He has taken the abuse and insult silently. Neville however knows the guy is exceptionally good in his subjects especially the Dark Arts classes. Judging from his journal Neville had secretly perused, the boy is also a master tactician, having written many quidditch strategy as well as case scenarios on how to elude the Carrows in an open revolt. That enough caught Neville’s attention. The boy is also the only guy who can boast to dating Princess Adams. How he caught her is a mystery to everyone.
Not far from them stands a frowning Majah Raj, a sixth year Slytherin. The other students were giving her the evil eyes and are probably wondering why she was invited. The boyish yet cute Slytherin from India is quite famous for hexing anyone she feels like hexing. She is one of Carrow’s favorite students for her brutality toward those who are in detention. Hannah had however saw her sitting with a crying first year on the astronomy tower, whispering words to ease the first year’s grief over the death of her brothers. Hannah had heard her whisper of hopes and dreams. Most of all she had seen compassion and probably remorse.
“Why is she here?” Princess asked, jerking her pretty head toward the frowning Majah.
“The better question is why we are all here?” Jake asked, turning toward the two professors standing in front of them.
“Who among you knows what this place is?” Neville asked when all students are finally paying attention.
“The Room of Requirements.” Diana Chase replied. “I thought this was a myth. We had even gone here once to check if it is true but no door showed up until tonight.”
“You are not the first to be hindered by the Room of Requirement’s complexities.” Hannah said. “In fact, Harry Potter had problems with it during our sixth…”
“It is blasphemous to mention his name with such reverence.” Majah commented, flicking her long hair pass over her shoulder. Despite her boyish attitude, she had allowed her wavy, raven hair to grow long. This and the compassion Hannah had seen her show to the young student convinced the professor that the Slytherin student has still to find her true self.
“Saying Harry’s name is the least blasphemous thing will do starting tonight.” Neville smirked.
“What do you have in mind, professor?” Scott sidled closer. “Will this be fun?”
“I still think you should not have invited her.” Princess rolled her eyes.
“Will you be reporting us to the Carrows, Miss Raj?” Hannah asked.
“What will I be reporting?” Majah sneered. “I don’t even know why we are here.”
“We are to start a rebellion.” Neville said seriously, looking straight into her eyes.
“What do you think about our new DA?” Hannah asked as they walked under an invisibility cloak toward the Forbidden Forest. It was midnight and they had just dismissed their new recruits after getting their agreement to join the new DA.
“Seven is a good number.” Neville shrugged, removing the invisibility cloaked as soon as they were deep inside the Forest. “We could do worse than them.”
“And Majah?” Hannah asked, entwining her fingers with his.
“You chose her.” Neville was looking around for any signs of Hagrid’s sentries. If their revolt to be successful, they would need to coordinate everything with Hagrid. “I normally wouldn’t trust a Slytherin but such distrust has brought us into this mess. All houses must unite. I was surprise though that she agreed to join the DA…she is the first Slytherin member in the DA’s illustrious history.”
“There is goodness in her.” Hannah insisted. “I don’t think she will betray us…especially since you were very detailed on the curse you placed on the parchment they signed.”
“I just like to cover all bases.” Neville chuckled just before an arrow landed inches from his feet.
“I think we should stop here…” Hannah murmured; holding more tightly to his hands as dozens of centaurs approached them with arrows nock.
DISCLAIMER: EVERYTHING BELONGS TO JK ROWLING
NEXT CHAPTER: MISSION IMPOSSIBLE!!
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