Ignoring the indignant shouts from around him, he snatched up the paper and almost ran from the room, not stopping until he had reached his dormitory. He sprawled on his bed and almost ripped the paper in his hurry to open it.
The Minister of Magic has recently come back from Azkaban in a state of great distress, for seven of the most dangerous Death Eaters of all time have managed to escape from Azkaban Wizarding Prison.
Currently, Ministry officials are puzzled and stumped at how this has happened. A sheepish Ministry worker exclaimed last night,
“...Well, security has been a little... lax, since the end of the War. We thought we’d seen the end of You-Know-Who...”
Us, as fellow citizens and reporters, understand the outrage and fear the public must be feeling at this statement and at the situation in general. We feel the Ministry should be taking a more hands-on approach. The escaped prisoners (seven in all) were last seen Disapparating from a side-street near Diagon Alley, accompanied by a strange woman. (See below picture)
Albus gaped. The picture of the blonde witch stared up at him.
The woman has not been seen in these parts before, and is believed to have been helping the convicted Death Eaters to escape. They have succeeded.
Another Ministry official has tried to cover up for the Ministry’s blunder.
“We shall tighten security sufficiently. The Dementors are completely under control. As You-Know-Who is long gone, we trust that these Death Eaters will not rise to power, for they are weak and they have no master. We are doing all we can to recapture and imprison the criminals, and this foreign witch.”
We know that we are all feeling the same way, and I cannot stress enough how much we want to reassure you, the public. The Ministry are obviously not going to right way about keeping the country calm.
We urge anybody to come forward if they notice something suspicious, and advise you to lock your doors and windows at night. Now the Death Eaters are at large, it is unlikely they will show themselves until they are much stronger, by which time the Ministry should have caught them. Although you should keep wary around the backstreets of Diagon Alley, please stay calm.
By Veronica Sment, reporter
Veronica Sment obviously had a grudge against the Ministry. Or she wanted to write a story which would reel in the loyal readers- and money.
Either way, the Death Eaters were back. And Albus’ disturbing dreams had something to do with them... in some way, he was connected with that strange blonde woman.
For the next few weeks, Albus stayed in a brooding, thoughtful mood. Alana and Jonny tried to talk him out of it, play games with him, chat with him, but Albus simply didn’t pay any attention. He wrote short, unimaginative letters to his parents, answered monotonously in class. He always seemed to have different things on his mind. It was not that he was moody or aggressive- he was just thinking, absent-mindedly.
Jonny also seemed to be in a similar mood. Albus did not think much of it at the time, but afterwards he realised it must have been because the Death Eaters had murdered his parents. That would be enough to make anyone hate them.
Another news report came a few weeks later, saying three Death Eaters had been recaptured, but four and the blonde witch still remained at large.
This made Albus snap out of his daze. It was as if he was suddenly seeing everything clearer.
“Yes!” he looked positively joyful.
Jonny stared at his porridge. “Jonny,” Albus started patiently, “if they can catch three, they can catch a few more.”
Albus hadn’t mentioned his dreams to Jonny- but he felt he should.
The next day, they were lazing about in the common room. It was dull and cloudy outside, and cold, too cold to go and wander around.
“Jonny, I need to talk to you.”
Jonny yawned and looked expectantly at Albus, who shook his head, gesturing to the other curious Gryffindors. Jonny took the hint and they headed up to the dorm.
Once there, Albus explained fully about all the strange dreams and his fears about being somehow connected to this blonde witch.
“You say it was definitely her? On the newspaper, I mean? They couldn’t have been two different people?”
“No... It was her, I’m sure of it.” Albus didn’t tell him he would remember that face for the rest of his life. Shrugging, Jonny bit his lip. “Tell Alana,” he advised. “And your.. parents.”
Later, when the sun had finally risen and was casting dappled light on the grassy grounds, Albus took his advice and told the whole story to Alana. Then, by candlelight, when the other boys were sleeping, he drafted a long, detailed later to his parents. They’d know what to do.
After all, Harry himself had had visions of Voldemort. Maybe this was kind of the same thing.
In Transfiguration, they had moved on to changing pencils into ballpoint pens. At the third try, Albus’ pencil had managed to roll off the table. He jabbed his wand, infuriated, and ended up Vanishing his pencil by accident.
“Whoops,” said Albus sheepishly.
Alana had managed to produce a perfectly good blue biro. Jonny was in even worse spirits. His pencil had snapped in half and at another furious wand-jab it crumbled to dust. Jonny threw his hands up in exasperation.
“I’ll never get this!” he muttered angrily.
Albus agreed, but cheerfully enough. He quickly quietened when McGonagall irritably gave Albus a new pencil, lips pressed together tightly.
Throughout the school, the panic and rumours about the Azkaban breakout had died down. As none of the Death Eaters had been sighted, and nothing out of the ordinary had happened, they had apparently decided that the panic was over.
Harry Potter sank into an armchair at his house next door to the Burrow. Ginny looked at him sympathetically and hugged him tightly.
“Bad day at work?” she enquired, pressing a mug of cocoa into his hand.
“Not half. They’ve got all the Aurors out looking for the escaped Death Eaters. It won’t do any good. Let’s just be thankful they haven’t got Voldemort on their side still...” Harry, since leaving Hogwarts, had taken up a career as an Auror (a dark-wizard-catcher) at the Ministry. He had had to undergo serious training and tests. It was an amazing day when the Ministry proclaimed Harry a fully-fledged Auror.
Harry kissed Ginny quickly and closed his eyes.
“What did you have to do?”
“It’s nothing more than searching, but it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. Anywhere suspicious, they send off a batch of Aurors to take a look.”
“Nope. I was with Jack Darren, you know? We were sent out to somewhere near Barnstaple because some Muggle spotted a masked man in a cafe. Turns out there was nothing there, although a couple of suspicious marks. Looked like burn marks. Thankfully, we got a couple of Detectors in and they had a look.”
“Detectors?” Ginny’s heart-shaped face was blank.
“A special new department of Ministry workers. They’re trained like detectives, to pick up clues. Mostly they work with the Aurors.”
Ginny nodded and they sat on the couch for a while, talking about nothing in particular.
“You know Peter Ringham? He Flooed earlier. There’s a match in two weeks. They want you to sub for Jamie Watt, he’s in hospital.”
Peter Ringham was the manager of England Quidditch team. They wanted Harry to play full-time, but Harry was usually tied up with work, so he was a substitute.
“What’s wrong with Watt?”
“Oh, got in the way of a hex, I think. Not too bad. Peter said the green boils should die down in a couple of weeks, and his ears will shrink from two-foot long to normal in around a month.”
“Wow, some hex.”
Suddenly, the fireplace glowed blue and Molly Weasley’s head appeared in the flames.
“Hi, Mum!” Ginny kneeled in front of the fire and smiled at her mother.
“How are you doing, Ginny? Harry? Work going well?”
“Yes, fine, Mrs Weasley.”
“Call me Molly, dear.” Mrs Weasley rummaged around for something and brought a basket out from the flames, passing it over to Ginny. “I’ve been doing some baking,” she explained. Ginny lifted the tablecloth over the basket and a delicious sweet smell wafted out.
Harry’s stomach rumbled involuntarily.
“Thanks, Mrs Wea- Molly.”
“It’s not a problem, dear. I must go. Oh, one more thing! George and Angelina have got a date for their wedding. It’s two months away, I’ll give you the day when I’ve got it. Bring the children, they’ll love it. Goodbye!”
George Weasley and Angelina Johnson had been engaged for a couple of months now.
Mrs Weasley’s head vanished with a pop. Ginny clapped her hands like an excited child.
“So they’re finally getting married! I wonder what it will be like? All white, I suppose..”
Ginny was interrupted by their daughter Lily skipping into the room and flinging her little arms around Harry’s neck.
“Hello, sweetheart!” Harry hugged her. “Uncle George and soon-to-be Auntie Angelina are getting married.”
“Will she wear a cakey dress?” Lily asked solemnly.
Ginny laughed uncertainly.
“A cakey dress?” said Harry. Then he got it. “Oh, a meringue! Yes, probably.” They all laughed.
Guess what, George and Angelina are getting married! It’s in two months. They’ve scheduled it for the holidays so all you kids can come and join in. I disapprove highly of your father’s gift, but I can hardly ask for it back.
Be extremely careful, Albus! I got on the wrong side of Filch when I was at Hogwarts, and believe me, you wouldn’t want to. Please don’t use the cloak too much. Only for emergencies. You’ll only get into trouble.
All my love,
I just knew you would love the surprise. I had lots of fun, and I know you will too, but don’t go doing anything dangerous. I would say I regret sending you it, but I don’t. Mum doesn’t approve though.
The news about George and Angelina is fantastic! It’ll be great.
Al- be careful. The Azkaban prisoners are still around. I know they won’t dare come to Hogwarts, it’s too well protected, but keep an eye out, eh?
Harry signed the letter absent-mindedly, thinking of Albus opening it. He clicked his tongue and heard the answering whoosh of his owl Remus flying to his side. He fastened the letter to Remus’ leg and watched him swoop out of the open window.
Albus scanned the letter quickly and grinned widely.
“Hey, Jon!” he said excitedly.
“Jonny!” sighed Jonny. “I hate Jon.”
“Okay, Jonny, my uncle’s getting married!”
Jonny suddenly went very quiet.
“Yeah. Great,” he muttered.
Albus realised why he looked so upset. He had to go back to a drab orphanage in the holidays, but Albus could go and party with his family.
All of a sudden, Albus had a wonderful idea.
Mum & Dad,
Amazing news about George and Angelina!! The only thing is- can my friend come? Only Jonny has to go back to an orphanage in the holidays and he seemed really sad that I could come back and have fun. Alana might want to come too... Would that be okay?
Feeling very pleased with himself, Albus sent Hedwig II off with the letter and retired to his bedroom.
Jonny was sitting on the bed, munching mournfully on a Chocolate Frog. He looked so miserable Albus felt sorry for him, and they sat on the bed having another Chocolate Frog feast together. When their stomachs were full, Jonny looked considerably happier, and Albus told him about his letter to his parents.
There was only one way to describe the expression on Jonny’s face- ecstatic.
Albus was so happy that Jonny was pleased, he didn’t think anything could make him worried or upset.
He was wrong.
After settling down to sleep, another disturbing dream drifted his way. The woman had transformed back into herself and was leading four black-cloaked figures up a steep grey-blue mountain. She and the Death Eaters reached the summit and settled around a campfire to discuss plans. Albus remembered very clearly the hushed conversation:
”He’ll be there.”
“Are you sure?”
“How many times, Shaw? I have good sources. I know what I’m talking about, whereas you don’t. Let the experts do the work.”
Albus had woken in the middle of the night, sweating. Information was whirling in his confused brain. Two months. George and Angelina’s wedding was in two months. Good sources? What sources? Shaw? Who was Shaw? One of the Death Eaters. Who’ll be there?
Albus pressed his fingers to his temples in an attempt to clear his mind. He rolled over and fell out of bed.
For a while, he lay there, nose pressed to the cold, dusty floorboards. Jonny was right. It was nice down here. But he had to get up.
He managed to drag himself up and had a very long shower to rid himself of sweat and dust. While the hot water was running down his body, he thought and thought about the dream. It was definitely a vision. It was far too vivid to be an ordinary dream. He knew his father had had visions of Voldemort in his childhood. Perhaps the bit of Voldemort in Harry’s scar had been passed down to Albus... But that would be preposterous. Voldemort was dead. But who was this woman? Was she connected with Voldemort? She was obviously connected with Death Eaters. Was she Voldemort’s wife? Sister? Daughter? They all seemed more unlikely than the next. Albus turned his face up and let the hot water run down it. He was too confused and bothered to think right now. He got out of the shower, dried himself quickly, and sat for a while in his stripy dressing gown.
He knew what his father would have done- gone to Dumbledore. But Dumbledore was long gone. McGonagall just wasn’t the same. Hagrid- Hagrid didn’t know much about it. The other teachers would just look awkward...
He would write to his father.
Mum and Dad,
Hi Mum. Just writing to say hi. Miss you, but I’m having loads of fun.
Hi Dad. I need to talk to you, but I don’t know how. It’s too long to put in a letter. I really need your advice on something, it’s urgent. Please find some way to contact me face-to-face.
Albus received a reply the next day.
Good to see that you’re having fun. Why do you need to speak to Dad so urgently? Say hi to your friends, and of course they can both come to George and Angelina’s wedding. The more the merrier.
It’s a bit worrying you’re that concerned about something. Hopefully Dad can sort it out for you.
I’m not going to ask you what’s so urgent. We need to speak face-to-face, I agree. I hope it’s nothing too serious. I’m going to Floo you. I’ve written to Hagrid and he’s agreed. You need to be at Hagrid’s hut on the 16th October, 11pm. I’ll use his fire. It’s safest. Wear the Cloak. I don’t want you getting into trouble on top of everything else.
Keep an eye out,
Albus let out a huge sigh of relief. Soon he would be talking with his father. It was then he realised just how much he missed seeing his parent’s faces. Also, he shivered slightly at the prospect of breaking rules. He wondered what would happen if he was caught.
Luckily for Albus, the days passed without any strange dreams or unusual happenings around the Wizarding world. The Daily Prophet printed short, uninformative articles basically stating the same thing each time- the Death Eaters hadn’t been caught.
The 16th came along blissfully quickly for Albus. He could barely concentrate in lessons, and when it was time to go to bed he stuffed an alarm clock under his pillow. It woke him at 10:30.
The castle was eerily quiet during the night hours. Albus bit his lip and looked over at Jonny’s empty bed. He supposed he was sleeping under it again.
Should he ask Jonny to come too? He had to admit, despite being a Gryffindor, the prospect of stepping out of his warm bed, down those dark steps, and then into the dark, dark grounds, was not exactly welcoming. However, he wanted to talk with his father in private. Now was no time to be a baby.
Five minutes later, having quickly dressed and slipped his Invisibility Cloak over his head, Albus crept down the curving stone steps from his room in Gryffindor tower. Clenching the cloak tightly around him, he flinched at the slightest of noises and found his imagination was running away with him. Simple shadows on the walls took the form of massive monsters. An owl hooting outside sounded to Albus like a savage werewolf.
He reached the common room and then found it was easier to carry on past the fireplace, whisper the password to the Fat Lady, and then start walking briskly along the corridor outside. In no time at all he found himself facing the huge wooden doors of the Entrance Hall.
He confidently put out a hand and pushed the door, hoping it wouldn’t creak. But it didn’t move at all.
The door was locked.
Cursing silently, Albus racked his brains. Why hadn’t his father told him how to get past the door? Albus took out his wand. They had progressed to more difficult spells in Defence Against the Dark Arts, but Albus always found the complicated incantations hard to remember. What was the Unlocking Spell again?
“Alhemaro?” Albus said tentatively. Then it came to him.
“Alohomora!” he said triumphantly.
There was a faint clicking sound and Albus grinned to himself, pushing the heavy wooden door. Cold night air blew into his face.
Shutting the door behind him as quietly as he could, he started along the path to Hagrid’s hut. One foot after the other, stopping every once in a while to check for suspicious noises. However, nothing important happened and Albus began to stop jumping every time he snapped a twig underfoot.
Albus raised his fist and was just about to knock when the door creaked open and a big face peeped out at him behind thick hair.
“’Right there, Albus?” Hagrid gave him a toothy grin.
“Yes. Did my dad tell you-”
“’Course he did. E’s already ‘ere. Come over ter me fire.”
Albus politely wiped his feet outside and stepped forward into the cramped little hut. Hagrid let the door thud shut.
“Dad!” Albus almost yelled, scrambling to sit down in front of the fire. The fireplace was glowing blue and a face had appeared in the flames.
“Hi, Al!” said Harry Potter.
“Dad! There’s so much to tell you.”
“Yes... what’s so urgent?”
“Well... Could I tell you, like, in private maybe?” Albus looked at the floor. Hagrid took the hint and went to take Fang for a late night walk.
“So. What did you want to tell me?”
Albus explained all about his strange dreams, the blonde woman, the dancing fire, the Azkaban escape, and the way he was somehow connected to this mysterious person.
All the way through Harry listened without saying a word.
“Well. Well,” Harry murmured when Al had finished. “Albus, now let me tell you something. When I was at Hogwarts, I had some strange, strange dreams too. One of them was of your Grandpa Weasley, being attacked by a snake. At the time- I don’t know what I thought. That maybe I was just having hallucinations. But Dumbledore explained what his suspicions were- that when Voldemort,” unlike most people, Harry said the name without flinching, “when Voldemort tried to kill me, a little of his powers leaked into me by way of my scar. It acted like, I don’t know, a radio aerial. Whenever Voldemort was feeling particularly strong emotions- hate, anger, happiness- I would suddenly feel it too. My scar also became very painful when Voldemort was near me. I also had dreams of what Voldemort was doing at that time. It’s like mind-reading. But soon Voldemort realised the connection. He began to feed me false information, hoping that I’d pass it on to Dumbledore, which would help him to rise to power.
You probably wonder why I’m telling you this. I think, but I’m not sure, that when you were born some of my genetics were passed down to you. I know you don’t have a scar. I’m thankful for that. But you may still have a little of Voldemort’s power. You may still be tuning in to what he is thinking.”
“But, Dad, Voldemort’s dead.”
“Yes, but I’ll tell you what I think. This woman is connected to Voldemort in some way. We don’t know how. Maybe she was his daughter, sister, some kind of relative. Maybe just a faithful slave, taking orders from Voldemort when he was still alive. Maybe she’s involved in some kind of plan to bring the Dark days back, bring the Death Eaters back to power. And you’re seeing visions of her because of the connection between me and Voldemort.”
Albus struggled to get his head round this.
“So what’s going to happen?” he said worriedly.
In a grim voice, Harry replied- “We can only wait and see. Cheer up, Al. Keep an eye out.”
A loud bark from Fang told them that Hagrid had finished his circuit of the grounds. He put his head round the door and said casually,
“Yes,” Albus said, feeling a little happier now he had poured out his heart to his father.
“Wan’ a bit o’ cake before yer go, Harry?” Hagrid said jovially, holding out a homemade rock cake. Wisely, Harry refused and after a few goodbyes there was a slight pop as Harry’s head vanished from the fireplace.
Albus suddenly had a lot more questions to ask, but he was yawning and his head was too full of information.
“Off ter bed now, Albus.” Al obeyed without protest and the trip back to Gryffindor Tower passed almost in a daze. Mulling things over in bed, he hardly even noticed when he fell asleep.
No more eerie dreams came his way for about two months. The castle was buzzing with excited students chattering about what they were doing for Christmas and generally having fun. Albus wondered if this was what it was always like before a holiday. The last day of term was a Thursday, and snow was falling thickly outside. The lake had frozen over and all students could be seen with scarves wrapped around their necks and woolly hats pulled over their heads.
It was only a half-day and after their last lesson, Potions, Albus, Jonny and Alana wandered outside. Albus stood there, practicing the Lumos charm on his wand.
“Lumos,” he muttered, and a glowing light sprung to the tip of his wand. “Nox,” he said. Nothing happened. “Nox!” he repeated, and reluctantly, the light faded.
All of a sudden, Albus received a blow to the back of the head, followed by a cackle of laughter. Scorpius Malfoy and his menacing-looking friend were shaping deadly-looking snowballs, packed tightly with snow and very hard, and hurling them at unsuspecting victims. Like Albus. Jonny saw Malfoy chuck the snowball, saw Albus lose his footing and slip into the snow, and saw red.
He gathered some snowballs of his own, rolling them on the floor as they gathered snow. He then practiced a handy little charm on them- Jonny exceeded at Charms and was already learning many advanced spells.
“Engorgio,” he whispered and the snowballs swelled before their eyes.
Albus, Alana and Jonny fell about laughing when a melon-sized snowball hit Malfoy squarely in the face.
Going to bed, all Albus could think about was going home tomorrow, seeing his family, his little sister, and watching his uncle’s wedding later. It was an added bonus that his two best friends would be coming along too.
Albus stepped off the train and straight into his mother’s arms. He squeezed her tight happily, then hugged his father and his little sister. For some reason, he had never felt more jubilant.
Jonny and Alana stood awkwardly around until Albus introduced them to his parents. James stepped off the train a little later and after fending off hugs and questions he said,
“See, you weren’t in Slytherin,” to Albus and grinned.
That was one thing Albus hadn’t told his father. How close the Sorting Hat had been to shouting out the word Slytherin to the whole school, condemning him to that table, those people, that history. He was definitely happy he was in Gryffindor.
Back home, near Ottery St. Catchpole, the Potters’ house was full of life. Ginny was on a mission to make the house look respectable; James, Albus, Jonny, Alana and little Lily were often roped in to help and found themselves chopping vegetables or scrubbing the bathroom; Harry was out a lot doing Auror duties and came home full of tales about the Ministry.
Mostly, when Ginny had let the five children rest, they sprinted out to the field behind the house, dragging along their brooms, and had blissful games of Quidditch. They couldn’t use the actual balls, but when James found a Muggle football in the gutter they used it as a Quaffle and sometimes Harry came up and threw apples for them to dive after as pretend Snitches. Albus had a decent broom, a Nimbus Blast, and he loved soaring up and feeling his fist close tightly over the apples. Though he preferred goal-shooting, catching the football and streaming forward, ducking low to avoid the opposition (Alana) and hurling the ball into the air, pretending it had just flown cleanly through a goal hoop.
Lily floated happily about on her Ladybug 900, catching the apples and more often than not eating them on the spot.
But sooner or later Ginny would always call them back in to do another chore.
“But why, Mum?” James said irritably as he dismounted his Kickstart 300 broomstick and mooched into the house. They were all set their own tasks; James was told sternly to wash the dishes; Albus, Jonny and Alana were to make the beds; and Lily was assigned the job of picking flowers to go in a pretty glass vase.
“How come she gets the easiest job?” James moaned as he wiped up a china bowl.
“One- she has a name, and two, Lily’s the youngest. Careful!” Ginny’s warning was lost because at that moment the sound of shattering china filled the cottage.
Lily came in with a handful of daisies and winter roses from the flowerbeds outside and arranged them delicately into the vase. Ever since she had been born Lily had had an eye for detail and beauty.
“James! Pick it up!” Ginny sighed, indicating the smashed plate.
Albus tucked in the last sheet- all five bedrooms were going to be used, as George and Angelina would be staying with them until the wedding in three days.
“So what’s happening again? With bedrooms?” Jonny said for the third time, still looking puzzled.
“Me and you are having my bedroom, Alana and Lily are sharing, Mum and Dad are sharing, James has got his own, lucky devil, and George and Angie are having this one,” Albus reeled off, ticking them off on his fingers.
Alana sighed happily. “This is the last one to do, we can go and do something fun now.”
However, the dark clouds had moved overhead and a foggy drizzle was falling, making it almost impossible to see the other end of the meadow, so they grumpily stowed away their broomsticks and went back inside. For a while, they lounged around, playing Exploding Snap and helping their mother who was slightly frantically cleaning the house.
“They’ll be here soon!” she kept saying, and when at last the chores were finished she flopped into an armchair which promptly started to purr in a soothing sort of way.
Jonny looked faintly amused at the purring armchair and then realised that a cat (daughter of Crookshanks) was sleeping on the arm of the squashy seat. It had bristly ginger fur and was quite fat, but its eyes were sleepy and kind. Just as Jonny reached out to stroke the cat a loud doorbell rang through the house, making everybody jump.
“That’ll be them!” Ginny said, getting up, dislodging the cat and going to answer the door. Sure enough, a few minutes later Ginny came back into the sitting room with three people in tow; George, Angelina and Harry. Apparently they had met when Harry was coming home from work and had travelled in together.
Angelina kissed Albus on the cheek, smiling widely.
“Don’t get like Fleur,” Ginny warned her, but she too was grinning.
“Albus, my man!” George said jovially, giving Albus a one-armed hug.
“Hi, Uncle George,” Albus replied.
“Oi, less of the Uncle. Makes me feel like some old codger.”
Pretending to look surprised, Albus said, “You mean you’re not an old codger?” earning himself a friendly dig in the ribs from his uncle and a laugh from Jonny.
“Are these your friends from Hogwarts?” Angelina asked, looking at Jonny and Alana.
“Yes, this is Jonny and this is Alana, you know, Professor Longbottom’s daughter.”
“Oh, Neville! Hey, Harry, remember that day at the Ministry when Neville broke the prophecy and Ron got attacked by those brains? Oh yeah, and I broke my ankle, and Hermione almost died. Then Voldemort shows up. Not the best day out,” Ginny interjected. Everybody laughed, but a little nervously. People were still worried about using Voldemort’s true name and to hear it used so openly and in a comical manner was shocking even now.
Three days later, the house was in a chaotic rush to get ready for the wedding. Ginny Weasley was busy helping Angelina get ready, Harry was putting the finishing touches to the buffet, and Hermione, who had come down with Ron and their kids for the day, was decorating the venue for the wedding (the meadow where Albus and his friends played Quidditch). When all was ready and the tall, thin priest had arrived, they all trooped out to the meadow. It looked beautiful. The trees were all draped artistically with golden streamers and red baubles, and a crimson velvet carpet stretched all the way from the raised platform, with black seats arranged on either side. Paperchains and fairy lights decorated the platform where the priest would stand (Lily had been making paperchains all day) and to top it all, the sun was beaming down on the lush green meadow.
George looked cheekily handsome in a black secret-agent style suit. However, it was still a little bit of a shock when you saw that gaping black hole in the side of his head where his ear had been cursed off.
Everybody took their seats, laughing and chatting, then all was silent as their eyes fell upon Angelina and her father Mr Johnson, who were walking slowly up the aisle, arm in arm. Angelina looked wonderful, her simple cream-coloured dress billowing behind her and her hair, styled in elegant curls, framing her radiant face.
The ceremony began, the tall, mysterious priest droning on about looking after each other and loving each other. Mr Weasley, Ron’s dad, looked close to falling asleep, but he was quite old.
When the applause began, Albus snapped back out of his trance and clapped along with everyone else. But something was wrong. George looked troubled, Angelina scared. The applause faltered. Then somebody screamed.
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